Cul­tural camp to lift tourism

Pilbara News - - News - Cally Dupe and Alicia Per­era

Tourism WA is in talks with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties in the North West to find lo­ca­tions for trav­ellers to pull off the road and camp on Abo­rig­i­nal land, with one Pil­bara lo­ca­tion al­ready un­der de­vel­op­ment for the project.

Camp­ing with Cus­to­di­ans was first rolled out at the Imintji com­mu­nity in the Kim­ber­ley in May and will be ex­tended to its first Pil­bara lo­ca­tion at Peedamulla Sta­tion near Onslow next year.

The idea is to keep it sim­ple, with low-im­pact camp­ing ar­eas and ablu­tion blocks for tourists to stay overnight and in­ter­act with com­mu­ni­ties.

Jun­daru Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion is fa­cil­i­tat­ing the pro­gram at Peedamulla on be­half of the small Jun­daru com­mu­nity, who have been cus­to­di­ans at the sta­tion for more than 40 years, and is al­ready de­vel­op­ing a camp­site and tourist fa­cil­i­ties.

Di­rec­tor Caro­line Parker said Tourism WA had ap­proached Jun­daru as a prospec­tive op­er­a­tor mainly be­cause of the com­mu­nity’s ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion. “We’re 7km off the North West Coastal High­way, and our prop­erty runs to the coast,” she said.

“So we’ve got a range of ac­tiv­i­ties lined up that we can do with tourists, so there’s not only camp­ing.”

A his­toric build­ing in the com­mu­nity will also be made into a re­cep­tion area and in­ter­pre­ta­tive cen­tre show­cas­ing Jun­daru his­tory and cul­ture.

Ms Parker said the pro­gram would be a win-win sit­u­a­tion for Jun­daru.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to this get­ting started be­cause this will mean more job op­por­tu­ni­ties for the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity and more train­ing,” she said.

The com­mu­nity hopes to start op­er­at­ing Camp­ing with Cus­to­di­ans be­fore the end of the 2017 tourist sea­son.

Tourism WA act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Gwyn Dol­phin said Tourism WA was in­ves­ti­gat­ing other po­ten­tial sites in the re­gion, with Mimbi and Vi­o­let Val­ley in the Kim­ber­ley the two other sites along with Peedamulla cur­rently un­der de­vel­op­ment.

Imintji has 20 camp­sites and vis­i­tor fa­cil­i­ties.

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