Body found

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

PO­LICE divers have lo­cated the body of the woman be­lieved drowned af­ter be­ing swept over the Roar­ing Meg Falls, while Tra­di­tional Own­ers have called on the gov­ern­ment to bet­ter man­age the sa­cred site.

Last Sun­day just af­ter mid­day, a 41-year-old north­ern beaches woman, who orig­i­nated from Ger­many, was last seen be­ing car­ried over the falls af­ter slip­ping on the rocks at the top of the 30 m drop.

The woman and a male friend, 44, also from the north­ern beaches, took the pop­u­lar CREB Track Road to visit the falls, near Wu­jal Wu­jal, on their way back to Cairns from a camp­ing trip

Po­lice divers from Bris­bane lo­cated the body, be­lieved to be pos­si­bly that of the woman, just af­ter 4pm on Tues­day and a re­port will be pre­pared for the coroner.

This is not the first time some­one has died from be­ing swept over the Roar­ing Meg Falls and Tra­di­tional Owner for the Kija area (China Camp) Linda Burchill said more needs to be done to man­age the site.

‘‘It is sa­cred to us in a bib­li­cal sense, that’s where ev­ery­thing was cre­ated, we call it the cre­ation story,’’ Ms Burchill said.

‘‘We worked with Na­tional Parks and other gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and we tried sev­eral times to pro­tect the area and we told them why. The area it­self is di­vided into men’s busi­ness and women’s busi­ness and the land­scape of the falls it­self is sup­posed to be man­aged by the women, ac­cord­ing to our be­liefs.

‘‘It’s the women who speak more for that area in the com­mu­nity.’’

Ms Burchill said fe­male tra­di­tional own­ers need to come to­gether with the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment de­part­ments to tell them how it should be man­aged.

‘‘Women are try­ing to stop that (the drown­ings) and voice how they would like to see it man­aged for safety ac­cord­ing to our laws as well as your laws, we want some­thing solid put in place but we haven’t been able to get to­gether,’’ she said.

‘‘ The state gov­ern­ment has been work­ing Bu­rungu on a ground level but haven’t been talk­ing with the women to hear our voice, they are sat­is­fy­ing them­selves and this is why th­ese things are hap­pen­ing. It’s go­ing against the willpower of women who want to pro­tect the area.

‘‘This is another re­minder for the gov­ern­ment to work to­gether with us to man­age that place and get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the area.’’

Ja­bal­bina Yalanji Abo­rig­i­nal Land Trust are hold­ing an AGM this Satur­day at the Moss­man Shire hall from 10am and all Ja­bal­bina mem­bers from all dif­fer­ent clan groups within Yalanji are en­cour­aged to at­tend the meet­ing, and a women’s gath­er­ing is be­ing or­gan­ised.

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