27 September 2023

Cultural strategy to restore country land

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A new strategy for protecting cultural landscapes in traditionally owned land has been launched to restore knowledge systems and the decision-making powers of Traditional Owners.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio said the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Landscapes Strategy was developed and written by Traditional Owners with support from Government, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria.

“It provides a strategic framework for Traditional Owners to lead the management of Country in line with cultural obligations,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Access to Country and managing living cultural landscapes through cultural land and fire management practices is a vital part of self-determination,” she said.

“Government is partnering with Traditional Owners to reform the systems and processes that create barriers to that self-determination.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the Strategy sought to address the significant impact European colonisation had on Traditional Owner rights and obligations to care for Country by restoring knowledge systems and reconnecting Traditional Owners to Country and cultural land management practice.

In a statement, the DELWP said the Strategy provided direction to Government about how it could enable and empower Traditional Owner self-determination in land management.

The DELWP said the Strategy provided core principles, tangible actions and a common language that could underpin the Department and Parks Victoria’s approach to future forest and parks management decisions, including policy and legislative reform.

The 57-page Strategy can be accessed on the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations’ website at this PS News link.

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