Traditional owners ready to put up a fight
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.