Tra­di­tional own­ers ready to put up a fight

Alpine Observer - - News -

By JUSTIN JENVEY

THE tra­di­tional own­ers of the Ovens Val­ley and sur­round­ing Alps say they are pre­pared to fight am­bi­ent land claims by an­other indige­nous group.

Dhud­huroa and Way­wurru na­tions chair Gary Mur­ray says the Taun­gurong peo­ple have tried to claim parts of the Ovens Val­ley as their own since 2012 but in the last 12 months have pushed to have of­fi­cial bound­aries re­clas­si­fied.

The Taun­gu­rung peo­ple of­fi­cially oc­cupy the area be­tween the up­per reaches of the Goul­burn River and its trib­u­taries north of the Great Di­vid­ing Range.

Mr Mur­ray said his peo­ple claim the area from Murchi­son along the Mur­ray River back to the Alps over to Cor­ry­ong, Omeo as well as Bright and Mt Buf­falo.

“I don’t think they know what they are do­ing, I don’t think they’ve an­a­lysed things prop­erly and just don’t un­der­stand the land and it’s some­thing we might need a judge to sort out,” Mr Mur­ray said.

“For Bright to now be claimed by a group that is on the other side of the Mt Buf­falo Ranges is just a ridicu­lous propo­si­tion.

“If you know the Ovens River and the Goul­burn River you’d won­der how the head­wa­ters of the Goul­burn around Mans­field could get from there to the Ovens River.”

The Dhud­huroa and Way­wurru na­tions have a no­tably pres­ence in the Alpine Shire with the Dhud­huroa lan­guage taught at Bright P12 Col­lege while Bright is also the group’s ad­min­is­tra­tive home.

In protest of the Taun­gurong peo­ple’s claims, tra­di­tional landown­ers were in Bright on Sun­day con­nect­ing with coun­try and fam­ily.

Ear­lier in the week Dhud­huroa and Way­wurru lead­ers met with gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties to dis­cuss a wa­ter re­source project set to take place over the next nine months.

HELP­FUL: Moun­tain bike rid­ing will be­come even more pop­u­lar at Din­ner Plain with funds se­cured to build new trails at the alpine re­sort.

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