Following the recent meeting of the Oriners-Sefton Advisory Committee, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council (KASC) has organised for Private Property signage to be installed at Oriners-Sefton.
New signs make it clear that Oriners-Sefton is private property and Rangers are on patrol. L-R: Traditional Owner Michael Yam, Ranger Larry Matthew, Ranger and Traditional Owner Marcus Yam, Elder and Traditional Owner Simpson Yam.
Oriners-Sefton pastoral leases are owned by KASC, making it ‘private property,’ on which Council has the right to determine what activities occur on the land, guided by the families from that Country.
“These signs will help remind visitors that they cannot light fires, hunt, fish or camp on our Country,” Senior Leader Michael Yam stated.
Both Michael and Elder Simpson Yam are keen to see Traditional Owners visit Oriners. “We want young people to come and camp and learn about their Country, and to have a spiritual and cultural connection with their homelands,” Michael said.
“Some outsiders have been doing the wrong thing, going to the wrong places, and they will get hurt,” Michael continued, “They are also hurting our country. We want people to respect our land and respect our authority.”
KASC Fire and Carbon Operations Contractor, Daryl Killin of Tropical Forest Tree Pty Ltd noted, “Fires set by the public pose a threat to Council’s aerial burning operations and have the potential to cost the Community hundreds of thousands of dollars in carbon credits.”
Charlotte Yam, who has been working towards protecting the endangered golden-shouldered parrot in the Kowanyama region agreed with Michael’s sentiment, stating, “We need people to understand that this is our Traditional Homelands. If you want to visit our Country, you need to get permission.”
Council is developing a formal Oriners-Sefton Visitor Policy, which is set to be finalised shortly. “It’s fantastic to see Council and Traditional Owners working together towards achieving collective goals,” Michael Yam said.
In the meantime, the Kowanyama Rangers will be posting the Private Property signs to send a clear message to visitors.