A PANEL of traditional owners has been tasked with negotiating how NSW National Parks and Wildlife will hand over control of Mount Yarrowyck to the region’s Aboriginal people.
Anaiwan Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Greg Livermore said to date the agreement reflected a tripartite arrangement with his organisation, the Armidale Aboriginal Land Council and the state government.
That could mean the site, about 25km west of Uralla on the Bundarra Road, would be handed back and then leased to the state government and co-managed by the land councils, he said.
The handover carried immense cultural significance.
“To have country returned to traditional owners is very significant whether it’s locally or elsewhere in Australia,” Mr Livermore said.
“…for our traditional owners to have this recognition of land rights is a step forward and any input into the overall management of the Reserve will be a bonus.”
Mount Yarrowyck is one of seven sites identified in the National Parks and Wildlife Act as being of cultural significance that could be handed back to indigenous people in time.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife New England regional manager David Dutallis said other sites had been handed back and it was now Mount Yarrowyck’s turn.
The site of Mount Yarrowyck is only small, so a handover would not affect any jobs, according to Mr Dutallis.
Mr Livermore said he would like to see the historical significance of Mount Yarrowyck maintained.
He hoped the negotiations would finish within the first six months of this year.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.