Talks on fu­ture of El­liott River fish­ing huts edge a lit­tle closer

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT

A DEL­E­GA­TION of six El­liott River fish­ing hut own­ers is ex­pected to meet the Juru peo­ple this month for na­tive ti­tle claim ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The meet­ing came af­ter the Fed­eral Court granted the Juru peo­ple na­tive ti­tle rights over 7570 hectares of land and wa­ters be­tween Bowen and Ayr.

The 95 fish­ing huts at the mouth of the El­liott River are af­fected by the claim, with about eight huts at Curlewis also in­cluded.

About 100 peo­ple met at El­liott River on Sun­day to choose the spokes­peo­ple for ne­go­ti­a­tions to de­ter­mine if the huts will re­main on the land.

The del­e­ga­tion se­lec­tion is the latest step in es­tab­lish­ing a work­ing group in­volv­ing the Juru peo­ple, Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines and the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil, to come to an ar­range­ment on the huts.

If the huts are al­lowed to stay, their own­ers will re­ceive land ten­ure through a sub­leas­ing ar­range­ment or com­mu­nity ti­tle and fees and charges will be in­tro­duced. El­liott River Progress As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Greg Dwyer is one of the hut own­ers cho­sen to take part in the dis­cus­sions.

He said ev­ery owner who at­tended the meet­ing wanted the same out­come.

“Nat­u­rally we’d just like to stay there with some sort of land ten­ure,” he said.

The Juru peo­ple, through the North Queens­land Land Coun­cil, have agreed to sus­pend their rights and in­ter­ests for 12 months while ne­go­ti­a­tions oc­cur.

A July 23 meet­ing date has not yet been con­firmed.

Juru el­der Cilla Pryor, from Townsville, El­liott River Progress As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Greg Dwyer, mem­ber Hoss Bardell and Juru el­der Carol Prior.

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