26 September 2023

Indigenous people join Barrier Reef’s future

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An agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments has seen the Traditional Owners of Queensland’s Darumbal country in the State’s central coastal area, celebrate the official launch of a community-based plan for managing their Sea Country.

Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Ian Poiner said the launch of Darumbal’s Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreement (TUMRA) provided for the management of traditional resources and was jointly accredited by the Reef Authority and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) in November 2021 for 15 years.

Dr Poiner said the launch was a significant milestone for Marine Park Sea Country management.

“We stand with the Reef’s Traditional Owner custodians and help to maintain the incredible richness of the Reef’s environment, culture and heritage,” Dr Poiner said.

“I would like to specifically thank, the Darumbal TUMRA Working Group and the Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation for their dedication and hard work to engage and consult with Darumbal people and Elders in developing this TUMRA,” he said.

Project Manager of Darumbal TUMRA, Malachi Johnson said the TURMA covered 36,606 km² of sea, extending from Broad Sound to Fitzroy River.

He said its southern boundary adjoined the Port Curtis Coral Coast TUMRA and excluded the Woppaburra TUMRA area.

“It takes in all lands and islands, important tourism sites and several Marine National Park and Conservation Park zones within that area,” Mr Johnson said.

“It is the largest of all TUMRAs,” he said.

“The TUMRA recognises Traditional Lore, customs, cultural authority and boundaries over sea country estate.”

Mr Johnson said the TUMRA also allowed for collaborative partnerships and mutual supports, and complemented Darumbal’s land and Sea Country management aspirations, “increasing the care and protection of the Great Barrier Reef”.

“The Darumbal people ask visitors to our Sea Country to please respect the area’s special natural and cultural values,” he said.

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