Tourism plan afoot for gorge

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The tra­di­tional own­ers sup­port­ing the clo­sure of Gre­gory’s Gorge have urged pa­tience and re­spect as they set in mo­tion plans to turn the pop­u­lar lo­cal at­trac­tion into a world-class tourism icon.

Ngur­rawaana Rangers an­nounced the gorge would be closed a lit­tle over a week ago on Face­book, lead­ing to heated crit­i­cism di­rected at the re­mote com­mu­nity.

The Pil­bara News can re­veal works are al­ready well ad­vanced to al­low quicker ac­cess through the com­mu­nity into the gorge with scenic vis­tas and river cross­ings.

Yind­jibarndi El­der Rose­mary Wood­ley said the pub­lic needed to re­spect Gre­gory’s Gorge was a highly sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural site for her peo­ple, which could ben­e­fit both cul­tur­ally and eco­log­i­cally from im­proved man­age­ment.

At a meet­ing un­der trees on the Port­land River last Fri­day, ideas for the fu­ture such as horse­back river rides, cor­ro­borees, morn­ing coffee runs, bush tucker din­ners and talks and tours with el­ders were mooted, should fund­ing be­come avail­able. It is en­vis­aged a four-wheel-drive trail could be es­tab­lished link­ing the gorge to Mu­ru­juga, Mill­stream-Chich­ester and Kar­i­jini Na­tional Parks, where Abo­rig­i­nal ranger pro­grams and po­ten­tial for cul­tural tourism de­vel­op­ment ex­ists.

Ngur­rawaana Rangers head ranger Kings­ley Wood­ley said the talks were a pos­i­tive step for­ward for the Yind­jibarndi peo­ple.

“When peo­ple come out to see us, to visit us, to talk to us, we will ex­plain the val­ues of Yind­jibarndi way of liv­ing and the way the ecosys­tem and our cul­tural sights should be pro­tected,” he said.

“The whole of Gre­gory’s Gorge is so sig­nif­i­cant that we want to de­velop some­thing at that place so it is wel­com­ing to all peo­ple.

“When peo­ple come to our coun­try we want to give them mem­o­ries to come back home and share with their kids.”

Abo­rig­i­nal Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion Foun­da­tion founder Brad Rowe, who is help­ing the com­mu­nity de­velop a busi­ness plan to as­sist in fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, said the cur­rent meet­ings re­volved

around set­ting re­al­is­tic goals to get the ball rolling.

“This is about long-term sus­tain­abil­ity for com­mu­ni­ties for the bet­ter­ment of the Yind­jibarndi peo­ple and coun­try,” he said.

“It’s about be­ing able to ed­u­cate peo­ple who are un­aware of the sig­nif­i­cance of places and al­low­ing knowl­edge to be trans­ferred in a cul­tur­ally ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner.

In the mean­time Ngur­rawaana Com­mu­nity chair­man Ricky Smith said the pub­lic needed to keep their cool dur­ing the clo­sure, as it would ben­e­fit ev­ery­one.

Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Wood­ley said the com­mu­nity would work closely with other stake­hold­ers to meet com­mu­nity, en­vi­ron­men­tal and cul­tural con­cerns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.