A first draft of Gippsland’s first Joint Management Plan is nearing completion and is planned to be released for community consultation before the end of the year.
The landmark plan, led by the Gunaikurnai Traditional Land Owner Management Board (GKTOLMB), has been in the making for three years following the Federal Court’s historic decision of October 2010 which recognised the Gunaikurnai’s native title rights over much of Gippsland, and the Victorian Government’s Recognition and Settlement Agreement with the Gunaikurnai people.
GKTOLMB Chair Grattan Mullett said the plan is an important step in the journey towards self-determination, social justice and reconciliation for the Gunaikurnai people.
“The Joint Management Plan will enable Gunaikurnai people to have a real influence on how our land is managed, bringing together the combined skills, expertise and cultural knowledge of Gunaikurnai people and the Victorian Government,” Mr Mullett said.
“It is also expected to lead to employment creation, education and training opportunities and enhanced tourism experiences for visitors by connecting them with nature and Gunaikurnai culture”.
Parks and reserves to be included in the plan include the Buchan Caves Reserve, Corringle Foreshore Reserve, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Gippsland Lakes Reserve at Raymond Island, Lake Tyers State Park, The Lakes National Park, Mitchell River National Park, New Guinea Cave within the Snowy River National Park, Tarra Bulga National Park and The Knob Reserve at Stratford.
“During the coming months, we will be talking more with the Gunaikurnai community via our partners at the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation to discuss the draft plan, and to make sure we’re on the right track before releasing it for broader community consultation” Mr Mullett said.
“We want everyone with an interest in the parks or Gunaikurnai culture to get involved and join the conversation, to ensure all voices are heard before we finalise the plan”.
Mr Mullett said details regarding the public consultation process would be released soon and encouraged interested groups and community members to stay up to date.
“We’re encouraging Gippslanders to support us and keep up-to-date by visiting our website, following us on social media, joining our email list or keeping an eye out in local media during the coming weeks and months as the consultation process advances,” Mr Mullett concluded.
The Joint Management Plan is being developed by the GKTOLMB in partnership with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria and is expected to be finalised by mid 2018.
For further information, visit www.gunaikurnai.com.au or pick up a copy of the new Planning for a joint management future brochure at any of the following locations:
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Bairnsdale, Orbost, Traralgon and Yarram offices)
- Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (Kalimna West)
- Buchan Caves Information Centre (Buchan)
- Tarra-Bulga National Park Information Centre (Balook)
- Wellington Visitor Information Centre (Sale)
- East Gippsland Visitor Information Centre (Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance)
- Segue Community Hub & Arts Café (Stratford)
- Mingling Waters Café (Nowa Nowa)
- Online at GKTOLMB website www.gunaikurnai.com.au