Fish River reconnects Indigenous people with land

Environment Minister Tony Burke with rangers

Minister Burke centre, and from left Fish River Station manager Shaun Ansell and rangers Desmond Daly and Jeff Long. Photo by Peter Taylor, The Nature Conservancy.

 

About 50 guests including 30 or so traditional owners joined Environment Minister Tony Burke on the sandy shores of the mighty Daly River in the Northern Territory’s Top End yesterday to celebrate the Fish River Conservation Project.

The Australian Government, through Caring for our Country, has joined with the Indigenous Land Corporation and conservation organisations to purchase the stunning, biodiversity-rich Fish River Station which will be handed back to traditional owners to manage for conservation as part of the National Reserve System — providing Indigenous jobs and reconnecting people to their country.

Despite the sweltering heat (39 degrees C in the shade!), the Minister joined us — Parks Australia staff, project partners and Indigenous rangers — to camp under the stars near the banks of Fish River on the eve of the celebration. We dined on Fish River buffalo sausage —  a delicacy likely to have a short market life thanks to the work of an Indigenous business which is controlling feral animals, including buffalo, on the property.

By Mark Taylor, Parks Australia

 

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