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