Ja­bal­bina ex­cited by tourism plan

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

AD­VEN­TURE tourism could be com­ing to Kuku Yalanji lands in the Dou­glas and Cook Shires, with Ja­bal­bina re­cently host­ing a round­table to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial of the idea in Moss­man.

Ja­bal­bina, Cook and Dou­glas shire rep­re­sen­ta­tives, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Tourism Port Dou­glas Dain­tree, Parks and Wildlife, the Wet Trop­ics Man­age­ment Authority and trail plan­ning com­pany World Trail all met to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment that ad­ven­ture tourism could open up for tra­di­tional own­ers.

“It was a very pos­i­tive meet­ing – ev­ery­one could see the tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity in de­vel­op­ing Yalanji trails,” said chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ja­bal­bina, Jim Turnour, who hosted the round­table.

“Ev­ery­one can see that this is a no-brainer for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment – it will cre­ate enor­mous em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Mr Turnour said the meet­ing was the first step in real­is­ing ad­ven­ture tourism on Yalanji land, but “what­ever hap­pens Ja­bal­bina is com­mit­ted to real­is­ing some op­por­tu­ni­ties in the next 12 months” by work­ing on campsites and trails.

“Ja­bal­bina is re­ally look­ing to Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment to sup­port eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment on Yalanji coun­try.

“De­vel­op­ment on Abo­rig­i­nal land is com­plex with ne­go­ti­a­tions to be had with Tra­di­tional Own­ers and agree­ments struck, the de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture that meets en­vi­ron­men­tal and cul­tural stan­dards in the Wet Trop­ics World Her­itage Area as well as the nor­mal re­quire­ments to de­velop the mar­kets and run the busi­ness,” said Mr Turnour.

Ja­bal­bina Yalanji Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion holds in trust sig­nif­i­cant lands and Na­tive Ti­tle Rights on be­half of the East­ern Kuku Yalanji Tra­di­tional Own­ers be­tween Port Dou­glas and Cook­town.

“There are sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop ad­ven­ture tourism in­clud­ing moun­tain bike or walk­ing trails within these lands. These will lever­age broader tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties for not only Yalanji peo­ple but non-in­dige­nous peo­ple.

Jim Turnour said there was po­ten­tial to run trails through most of the Yalanji land be­tween Port Dou­glas and Cook­town held in trust with Ja­bal­bina, pic­tured above in pink, yel­low and green.

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