CLC Annual Report 2010-2011
Output 1.2 Land and Natural Resource Management
The CLC Ranger Program has moved into a new phase of stability with the seven established groups transitioning beyond a basic work-ready level. Now the rangers are progressively taking on more complex cultural and natural resource management (CNRM) projects as they build specialist skills and increase work experience.
This year the program expanded with the addition of three new groups operating in a trial context to test their viability and the organisation’s capacity to support additional groups.
The CLC ranger groups are:
- Wulaign Rangers – Lajamanu and Northern Tanami IPA
- Warlpiri Rangers – Yuendumu and proposed Southern Tanami IPA
- Muru-warinyi Ankkul Rangers – Tennant Creek region
- Tjuwanpa Rangers – Hermannsburg region
- Kaltukatjara Rangers – Docker River and Katiti-Petermann ALTs
- Ltyentye Apurte Rangers – Santa Teresa ALT and surrounds
- Anmatyerr Rangers – Ti-tree locality
- Papunya Rangers (pilot) – Papunya and surrounding Haast Bluff ALT
- Daguragu Rangers (pilot) – Daguragu and surrounds
- Atitjere Rangers (pilot) – Harts Range region and surrounds.
The broad-ranging social, cultural, economic, health and environmental benefits delivered by Indigenous land management programs such as this are increasingly acknowledged by government, research institutions and Aboriginal communities, generating a growing demand for the CLC to support new programs in other communities across the region.
Each ranger group requires significant organisational support in the form of co-ordination, administration, mentoring, operations and advocacy assistance. The extent of the additional load on the organisation’s corporate service sections now requires consideration of alternative operational models if new ranger groups are to be supported in the region.
The CLC successfully negotiated a further three years of secure funding (2010-2013) from the Australian Government’s Working on Country (WoC) program, administered by SEWPAC, and the Real Jobs program, administered by the ILC. Together these funding agreements provided $5.66 million in funding this year.
SEWPAC also offered additional Working on Country funding to enable the transition of the Papunya rangers from a pilot to a permanent group, with funding provided for operations and wages for an additional 1.2 fulltime equivalent (FTE) positions.
This group will be fully operational by early August 2011.
Negotiations are also currently underway with the ILC to secure additional operational support to enable the Daguragu Rangers to operate on a permanent basis from August 2011 using ILC Real Jobs funding.
Overall core funding for the CLC Ranger Program for the 2010-11 year was $8.29 million, provided by the following sources:
- Working on Country funding contracts with SEWPAC for 2010-13, spanning WoC National, WoC Northern Territory and WoC Flexible streams for the Wulaign, Warlpiri, Muru-warinyi Ankkul, Anmatyerr, Tjuwanpa and Kaltukatjara Ranger groups for 44 ranger FTEs
- ILC Real Jobs contract for 2010-13 providing salaries for 25 ranger FTEs funded through FaHCSIA and an accompanying ILC funding package for coordination, capital, operations and training. This funding has been critical for the support of the ongoing operations of the Ltyentye Apurte Ranger group at Santa Teresa and also allowed for employment of new rangers within pilot programs and to support expansion within the established groups
- Capital and operations funding from two separate ABA funding agreements for three ranger coordinator houses in Lajamanu, Yuendumu and Ti-tree, the purchase of transportable housing and office infrastructure to support ranger operations in other locations, purchase of workshop spaces in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, additional vehicles and machinery, funding for specialist fire management, erosion control and weed management works, and funds for business planning to test the opportunities and feasibility of transitioning ranger groups to commercial contract-based operations
- The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) funded ranger training and mentoring support under their Indigenous Employment Program.
Additional funding contributions to the ranger program totalling $473,225 were sourced through two other funding agreements:
- SEWPAC Caring for our Country
- NT Government EcoLink funding through NRETAS
SEWPAC also allowed access to $865,000 from the previous year’s WoC funds for:
- EMU pilot project Phase III to deliver EMU (Ecosystem Management Understanding) planning training to CLC Land Management staff and to continue the development of projects on Ahakeye and Santa Teresa ALTs
- Development of a fire training package for Central Australian rangers
- Operational coordination support of activities by Willowra and Nyirripi-based Warlpiri Rangers
- Purchase of new vehicles
- Mentoring and training strategy to align the program with appropriate national standards
- Additional fire operations capacity in priority regions
- Development of a business model for an integrated database for spatial and non spatial cultural and natural resource management (CNRM) data collected by or needed by rangers for planning and reporting purposes
- Enhancing women’s engagement in land management activities by providing operational funds for the new women’s Land Management Facilitator.
As part of the effort to build economic resilience and broaden employment opportunities within the ranger program, some groups have taken on increasing levels of fee-for-service work.
This year, approximately two per cent of the total ranger program income was derived from fee-for-service work, with most (88 per cent) coming from Flexible Employment Program (FEP) contracts on parks and reserves through the NT Parks and Wildlife Service joint management arrangements.
FEP work has focused on tourism infrastructure maintenance, including weed and fire management work around campgrounds and trailheads, track maintenance work, and fencing and interpretive signage installation.
Other fee-for-service work has involved small fencing contracts and weed management work with mining companies and pastoralists and ongoing contracts with Newmont’s mining operations in the Tanami.
NT Parks and Wildlife Service (NTPWS) seconded a NTPWS ranger to work within the CLC ranger program to increase involvement by the Tjuwanpa Rangers in FEP work and the management of the Finke Gorge National Park in the longer term.
The feasibility of invovement by Tanami-area rangers in large-scale drill-hole rehabilitation contract work as part of Newmont’s environmental obligations was scoped using a grant from Indigenous Business Australia (IBA). At 30 June 2011 the consultancy was still in the data collation stage.
Terms of reference were developed for a broad-based business planning exercise to scope the extent of regional commercial contracting opportunities and to investigate alternative business models for ranger group operations to potentially decrease reliance on government funding.
Efforts to explore increased contracting opportunities for ranger groups are consistent with government’s desire to see the rangers progress to being commercially competitive.
The CLC is mindful that the transition of ranger groups to any level of commercial contracting will need to be staged slowly and require careful consideration of regional viability and ongoing support for groups, particularly in remote areas without significant mining nor pastoralism operations and where few potential host entities exist to ensure success into the future.
Recruitment and Staffing
Additional positions were created to fill gaps and provide additional support to ensure successful outcomes from the program. Ministerial approval was received to enable the CLC to employ a Ranger Program Assistant Coordinator within core ABA-funded operational staffing structure on an ongoing basis to meet significant administrative and program development responsibilities.
Funding levels were sufficient to establish a new position of a ranger program locum to provide additional on-ground support for ranger groups and to help with larger, more technically complex jobs.
NTPWS also funded a seconded park ranger (see above).
SEWPAC funds provided a second short-term ranger coordinator position at Yuendumu which led to a substantial increase in fire management and biodiversity survey outcomes in the Southern Tanami region. Efforts are currently underway to source longer term funding for this position as part of the transition to declaration of the Southern Tanami IPA in 2011-12.
Ranger ProgramTraining and Development
Significant progress was made in professional development with the formalisation of the position of senior ranger. At 30 June 2011 there were six rangers appointed to these roles. Senior rangers take on substantial responsibilities for supervising work crews in the field, transferring skills, and managing some of the administration workload of the ranger coordinators.
As part of their professional development, four of these rangers were enrolled in Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment through the Community Based Indigenous Training (CBIT) program. Three have graduated and the fourth will graduate later in the year.
Peer-to-peer training was another successful aspect of program development this year, with senior rangers and other rangers with specialist skills spending time supervising teams of rangers in other locations and overseeing the completion of projects such as fencing, stockyard refurbishment or ground-based burning work. This ranger exchange has had verygood professional development and networking outcomes and will be expanded in the coming year.
Equipment, Infrastructure and Operational Resources
ABA funds were also received to allow for the purchase and installation of transportable houses and office spaces for ranger groups currently lacking these facilities. Although not ideal, these transportable housing/office options allow for a rapid short-term solution while longer term leasing or construction options are explored.
Negotiations are also underway with a number of other agencies and shires to secure houses and workshops in communities.
Significant ABA capital funding was secured to address some of the infrastructure and equipment constraints currently limiting growth within the ranger program. Funds will allow development of two regional workshop hubs servicing ranger groups in the northern and southern regions and for additional vehicle, machinery and specialist equipment to enhance ranger group operations.
A greater emphasis was placed on tracking and improving ranger group performance both in terms of work outputs and employment outcomes.
A weekly reporting system was refined in order to collect comprehensive data on individual ranger attendance and performance and to enable more streamlined collation of data on ranger group work outputs.
These reports were monitored closely so that informed decisions about early intervention by the ranger mentor or ranger trainer could be made to improve ranger attendance and work effort.
Another development this year was the production of workplans with increased levels of traditional owner involvement in planning and priority setting.
The EMU (Ecosystem Management Understanding) pilot project was extended to enable Ltyentye Apurte and Anmatyerr Rangers to work closely with key traditional owners to finalise cultural and natural asset mapping on the Santa Teresa and Ahakeye ALTs respectively, and to develop priority project areas for inclusion in future ranger workplans.
Training in EMU planning and recognition of landscape ecological processes delivered to regional land management and ranger program staff increased skills in community-based planning and enabled staff to facilitate regional planning strategically.
The dedicated CyberTracker officer highlighted to the rangers the importance of collecting monitoring data and building up a regional picture of current threats to cultural and biodiversity assets on Aboriginal-owned land to enable a more informed planning of projects to address these threats.
CyberTracker use was also a feature of a successful two-day Ranger Program Coordinator forum hosted and facilitated by the CLC in November, with Working on Country funding, for Indigenous ranger program staff across Central and Northern Australia.
Operational work plans for the 2011-12 period were produced by all seven groups and translated into work plan templates to meet contract requirements for SEWPAC and ILC funding.
Prolonged wet weather across Central Australia significantly interrupted the implementation of workplans of all groups, particularly in undertaking fire management and invasive species control. Nevertheless, significant outputs were achieved in implementing a broad range of activities and development initiatives with CLC support throughout the year for both established and emerging ranger groups across the region, as detailed below.
Existing Ranger Program Activity for 2010-2011
Tjuwanpa Rangers (Hermannsburg)
- Bi-annual slater’s skink population count performed in Finke Gorge National Park. Three lizards captured and relocated to the Alice Springs Desert Park to start a captive breeding program for this endangered lizard
- Monitoring and management of buffel grass incursions
- Athel pine monitoring along the Finke River, which showed remarkably low levels of reinfestation of this weed
- Mexican poppy control works along the Finke River
- Logistical and other on-ground assistance for a trial evaluation of the proposed Ilpurla Trail walk west of Ntaria with traditional owners and operator company Into the Blue. Rangers also worked on the development of the trail and transferred track building skills to local Arrernte workers
- Quarterly environmental survey of Palm Valley Gas Field with Low Ecological Services
- Construction of verandah and nursery at the ranger office at Hermannsburg, and assistance for traditional owners with clean-up and protection activities at Gilbert Springs, Kaporilya and Ljiltera Springs
- Attended the Finke Gorge National Park handback ceremony in Alice Springs and greeted and escorted the Prime Minister during the ceremonies at the Desert Park
- Completed 303 person days of FEP projects with the NTPWS at Owen Springs Reserve, Finke Gorge and West MacDonnell Ranges National Parks to a total value of $131,370
- Burning activities with NTPWS rangers in Owen Springs National Park, Finke Gorge National Park and the Watarrka National Park
- Planning and facilitating fortnightly Junior Ranger activities with Ntaria School in collaboration with Western Arrernte Health Aboriginal Corporation, Parks and Wildlife Service and youth workers
- Participation in a CSIRO field study on Aboriginal people’s perceptions of weeds
- Continued to work with the CLC’s Rural Enterprise Unit to manage feral horse populations in the region
- Supervision and mentoring support for the Atitjere pilot ranger group.
Muru-warinyi Ankkul Rangers (Tennant Creek)
Undertook the following activities on the Mungkarta ALT:
- 600 rubber bush plants treated at Greenwood outstation;
- fenceline repairs at Gilbert Swamp floodout to minimise cattle impacts;
- assistance with the muster of 104 cattle at Nguyarrmini to reduce grazing impacts;
- and the completion of a cattle trough and water reticulation project to enable future musters of feral animals in the Murchison Range
- Weed management works on Beetaloo Station under contract arrangements with the Barkly Landcare and Conservation Association, spraying approximately 85 hectares of parkinsonia on the headwaters of Newcastle Creek and surrounds. Rangers also identified 10 hectares of rubber bush infestation
- Constructed a 700m safety fence under contract to Emerson Mining to enclose the Chariot Open Cut Mine and the Edna Beryl Mine
- Participated in monthly patrol and maintenance work in the Davenport Ranges National Park with NTPWS staff under FEP arrangements, and undertook weed management and campground maintenance work under joint management arrangements
- Undertook regular site management works at Kunjarra (Devils Pebbles)
- Managed rubber bush at Nobles Nob mine under contract with Excalibur Mining Corporation Ltd
- Constructed fencing around Junja (Porcupine Swamp) on the boundary of Tennant Creek station and the Karlantijpa South ALT to exclude cattle and horses.
Kaltukatjara Rangers (Docker River)
- Provided support for a Katiti-Petermann IPA planning field trip to biodiversity hotspot Lake Amadeus with traditional owners and staff from Parks and Wildlife Service and Desert Wildlife Services to undertake fauna surveys at four sites
- Carried out strategic buffel control to reduce fuel loads around three outstations
- Identified and manually treatmed of an outbreak of Mexican poppy near Docker River
- Constructed new steel holding yards near Docker River under the direction of traditional owners and CLC Rural Enterprise staff to enable the community to muster and manage feral horse and camel populations
- Worked with the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) to complete Karu Kali outstation construction works, and took part in community clean-up and maintenance works at Ampatjuta and Tjuwata outstations and in Docker River in collaboration with the MacDonnell Shire
- Undertook waterhole monitoring training and regular monitoring at Piryultjara, Tingka Kuna and Tjilpuka waterholes as part of a national program to monitor and manage camel impacts
- Completed a four-day IPA survey at Kalaya Tjunta to collect population data for tjakara (great desert skink) and data on small mammal distribution
- Managed buffel grass infestations around Amputjuta, Kulail and Mantarur outstations and Kaltukatjara campground to reduce fire risk
- Undertook ground-based burning to protect biodiversity and infrastructure assets including: Tjunti campground (near Lasseter’s Cave), Mulga Green, Wangkari, Kuna Pula, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, Bloods Range/Lake Neale (Kalaya Tjunta) area, and at Irvine Creek to protect brush-tail possum habitat; construction of a firebreak around the Docker River community’s power station; habitat protection burns along Tjilpuka Ridge.
Wulaign Rangers (Lajamanu)
- Carried out a threatened species tracking survey with traditional owners near Mirridi, Duckponds, Parnta and Lajamanu
- Built a nursery area and installed irrigation to allow rangers to grow shade trees and plants for revegetation work
- Undertook a program of ground-based and aerial burning activities to protect biodiversity, cultural and infrastructure assets across a total of more than 2300 square kilometres, including Pinja, Mirridi, Duckponds, Picaninny Bore, Talbot Well and Parnta outstations, as well as Suplejack, Picaninny Bore, Kamira Springs, Talbot Lake, Winnecke Creek and east of Jangalpalalpa outstation
- Provided support for two IPA country visits with the local school
- Surveyed for signs of bilbies as part of an ongoing population monitoring program
- Performed contract weed spraying and an animal survey with Newmont Ltd at Tanami mine sites
- Carried out parkinsonia eradication (see above: Invasive Species Control - Weed Management)
- Undertook buffel grass management works across the IPA.
Warlpiri Rangers (Yuendumu, Willowra and Nyirripi)
- Collaborated with Bushfires NT staff and traditional owners to carry out more than 8700 square kilometres of prescribed burning
- Completed landscaping around CLC’s Yuendumu office area
- Provided logistical support for a warrana (great desert skink) survey (see above: Biodiversity Management, Significant initiatives for 2010-2011, Warlpiri Rangers) Undertook surveys for black-footed rock-wallabies on Lake MacKay and Mt Barkly ALTs
- Carried out weed control (see above)
- Performed pastoral monitoring at five sites on the grazing lease on Yuendumu ALT site
- Completed a fauna survey at Yinapaka (Lake Surprise), which found 59 bird species (including 14 species of waterbirds on the lake, and three sightings of the near-threatened grey falcon), and recorded sightings of bilbies.
Anmatyerr Rangers (Ti-tree)
- Carried out first and second stages of the EMU planning process for the eastern Ahakeye ALT with traditional owners
- Completed fencing at Yanginj waterhole, an important cultural site on the Ahakeye ALT to protect it from feral animal damage
- Worked under guidance from traditional owners to clean out a series of culturally significant waterholes
- Completed fencing at Mulga Bore to allow yards to be used for future mustering work
- Manuallly constructed a three kilometre firebreak on Ahakeye ALT and ground burning to
- reduce fuel loads and enhance akatyerr (bush raisin) regeneration. This work included installation of photo-points in burnt areas to monitor recovery of this important bushfood
- Mapped parkinsonia occurrence along the Hanson and Woodford Rivers
- Provided logistical support for a one-day school country visit to Mt Ester with 12 children
- Provided logistical support for traditional owners to survey flora near Utopia
- Carried out fuel reduction burns (totalling 32 square kilometres) around Mt Barkly, and in the process performed documentation of traditional owners’ Indigenous ecological knowledge (IEK) regarding burning on country
- Worked with Muru-warinyi Ankkul Rangers to clear fire breaks and undertake nighttime protective burns around the Mission Block
- Carried out back-burning at Adelaide Bore outstation to provide protection from wildfires.
Ltyentye Apurte Rangers (Santa Teresa)
- Completed first and second stages of the EMU planning process for Santa Teresa ALT
- Performed prickly pear control at Limbla outstation, Loves Creek
- Carried out a major rebuild of yards at Phillipson Bore and Yam Bore for cattle musters and feral animal control
- Performed a feral horse muster on Santa Teresa ALT using the restored Phillipson Bore yards
- Completed the fencing of culturally important rain sites on the eastern side of Urlampe Range identified by traditional owners during the EMU planning work. Fencing and erosion management works will form a significant part of the rangers’ work program in the coming year
- Worked with an NRETAS acquatic biologist and NTPWS staff at Hayes and Salt Springs on Santa Teresa ALT as part of a water monitoring workshop. Rangers also participated in Simpson Desert water monitoring as part of monitoring feral camel impacts
- Undertook maintenance work at Yam Creek Bore to clean up the water source and protect the site from feral animal damage
- Treated Mexican poppy infestations and performed buffel and couch control at Rockhole Bore
- Treated populations of parkinsonia around Santa Teresa• Fenced along the eastern boundary of the ALT to control feral animal access to important wetland sites within the Urlampe Ranges
- Traditional owners provided logistical support for a horse-trail tour with 90 participants, during which the rangers talked about their role.
Emerging Ranger Programs
Harts Range Rangers (Atitjere)
- Carried out site visits and traditional land management activities at Alatyeye sacred sites with senior Eastern Arrernte traditional owners
- Participated in and provided logistical support for a Natural Resources Audit of the newly acquired Huckitta Station, also completing fauna and plant survey work at 12 monitoring sites
- Traditional owners undertook site assessment of a sacred site adjacent to Yousef’s Dam on Huckitta
- Performed a site visit on the Atnetye ALT to identify work plan activities
- Contributed to logistical arrangements for camel culling on Atnetye ALT.
- Facilitated the continuing development of the Papunya group with NT Government EcoLink funding on the Haasts Bluff ALT
- Carried out a range of on-ground works, including maintenance of waterholes and springs, intergenerational IEK transfer, weed management, threatened species management and fire management
- Worked alongside Warlpiri Rangers to do ground-based burning
- Obtained accredited training for rangers and coordinator in core Occupational Health and Safety skills
- Arranged involvement of NRETAS specialist staff in flora and fauna surveys
- Participated in cultural site management training with National Museum Australia and UNE archaeologists.
- Facilitated the continuing development of the Daguragu group with NT Government EcoLink funding
- Contributed planning, logistical, coordination and documentation support for the implementation of the regional IEK project, Gurindji Ngurrawu Warlakuwaji, involving 10 country visits with 170 participants including rangers
- Organised support for the rangers to undertake training in Certificate II Conservation Land Management II during the group’s recess while negotiations continue over future funding and hosting arrangements
- Continued ongoing negotiations with ILC for additional funding to support a permanent Daguragu Ranger group resulting in a tentative funding offer.
Women’s Land Management
Aboriginal women continue to have relatively low participation rates in more structured programs such as the Indigenous ranger program.
The CLC’s second Women’s Land Management Development Workshop, in 2009-2010, made a number of key recommendations including the need for additional funding and greater support for more land management jobs, as well as projects for women and improvements in ranger group recruitment processes.
The CLC’s 2010-2011 ABA budget submission was successful in securing ministerial support for establishing a women’s land management facilitator who will identify and implement strategies to improve the level of integration and participation of Aboriginal women in existing land management programs and develop women’s land management projects.
There were a number of women’s land management activities, including:
- A women’s country trip on Lake MacKay ALT (see Southern Tanami IPA)
- Support for seven dedicated women’s projects within the Handing Down Knowledge project for the intergenerational transfer of IEK
- Support for three women’s country trips to build capacity to represent their interests and aspirations in a joint management context at Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve, Davenport Range National Park and Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) Conservation Reserve.
- In developing processes and opportunities for increasing the involvement of women in ranger activities, the CLC also:
- Supported both the Anmatyerr and Santa Teresa Rangers to build women’s involvement in their EMU projects informingranger program work planning
- Assisted female Wulaign Rangers at Lajamanu to develop projects that they can work on.
Joint Management of National Parks and Reserves
NT Parks and Reserves
Among the 20 parks and reserves listed in the Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Act 2003 in the CLC region to be jointly-managed with the NT Government, only 14 of the 16 parks subject to title transfer and leaseback arrangements had received title at 30 June 2011.
The grant of Aboriginal freehold title by the Prime Minister to the Lhere Pirnte Aboriginal Land Trust for the Finke Gorge National Park on 7 June 2011 at the Alice Springs Desert Park was the only title transfer this year.
In addition to the four parks subject to joint management under Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) registered with the National Native Title Tribunal in 2006/2007, this brought the total number of parks and reserves now under formal joint management arrangements to 18.
Continuing administrative delays left traditional owners of the two remaining national parks, West MacDonnell and Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Parks still waiting for title transfers.
Beyond the requirement for ILUAs or title transfer and leaseback arrangements, joint management arrangements require preparation of a joint management plan to come into full effect.
Completion of joint management plans through traditional owner consultations, planning and negotiation remained a priority for the CLC this year.
The status of joint management planning at the close of this reporting period was as follows:
- Joint management plans for Rainbow Valley and Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserves were passed through the NT Legislative Assembly last year
- Another three plans - Watarrka National Park, West MacDonnell National Park, Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve - are complete and waiting to be passed through the NT Legislative Assembly before formally coming into effect. However both the Watarrka and West MacDonnell National Park joint management plans cannot be tabled until title transfer and leaseback have occurred
- A further four joint management plans - Corroberee Rock Conservation Reserve, N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park, Trephina Gorge Nature Park and Gregory National Park - have been submitted for public comment
- Finke Gorge and Davenport Range National Park plan are
- at an advanced stage
- Joint management planning commenced for the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.
There was an agreement with the NT Government to maintain the funding for the employment of two CLC joint management officers (JMOs) to represent the interests of traditional owners in joint management. This secures salaries and operational resources for these positions up to 30 June 2013.
The CLC also has a joint management position within its core-funded operational structure which has responsibility for overall coordination of all of the CLC’s joint management programs, (including Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park) and Aboriginal tourism development.
The CLC responded to a range of immediate management concerns as they arose, organised and facilitated meetings of joint management committees and put considerable effort toward supporting the involvement of traditional owners in park management work.
Work focussed on the following parks and reserves:
Alice Springs group of Nature Parks and Reserves
- Discussions with Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation to establish an ongoing working relationship for joint management of the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and other jointly-managed parks (Emily-Jessie Gap Nature Park, Kuyunba Conservation Reserve) covered by ILUAs and falling within the Alice Springs native title area
- Public forums were held about joint management of Alice Springs Telegraph Station and related tourism matters
- Preliminary joint management planning was carried out.
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve
- Information was disseminated to the broader group
- Governance training was provided to joint management committee members and development of park permit guidelines was begun
- Commenced development of a cultural heritage management plan
- Meetings were held to discuss community development options for use of park rent monies
- A trip with women traditional owners was undertaken throughout their country to discuss joint management issues, particularly in relation to cultural site protection and governance.
Davenport Range National Park
- Pre-planning meetings were held with NTPWS
- Joint management meetings and country trips were carried out with traditional owners to develop the content for the joint management plan for the park
- Collaborated with NTPWS in implementing a biodiversity and fire-based IEK project funded by the NT Natural Resource Management (NRM) Board
- Gained expert anthropological input and comment on the Davenport Range’s Cultural Values Report toward preparation of the draft Joint Management Plan.
East MacDonnell Ranges group of national parks and reserves
The following activities were conducted to advance joint management for this group of parks and reserves including Emily and Jessie Gaps, Trephina Gorge, N’dhala Gorge, Corroborree Rock, Arltunga Historical Reserve and Ruby Gap National park:
- Comment was made on the Draft Joint Management Plan for Trephina Nature Park
- Facilitated the first East MacDonnell Joint Management Committee (JMC) meeting and produced and distributed information to traditional owners about meeting discussions and outcomes. Efforts to organise three further meetings were cancelled due to illness and sorry business
- Workshops were held to develop guidelines and procedures for park permit applications and other issues
- Governance training workshops to the East MacDonnell joint management committee
- were held
- Traditional owners were employed on FEP activities at Arltunga Historical Reserve.
- Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve
- Two planned meetings of traditional owners were cancelled because of road conditions and disturbances
- A meeting of traditional owners was held in February to consider the spending of rent money and other income.
Finke Gorge National Park
Three joint management meetings with traditional owners were held. These addressed a range of issues including:
- clarification of traditional affiliations with the south-west area of the park
-identification of representatives on a joint management committee (JMC)
- input of traditional owners on content of the draft joint management plan
- decision-making and governance with input from the NTPWS - operational planning
Individual consultations were undertaken with senior traditional owners unable to attend meetings. Key traditional owners were
also consulted in an effort to resolve disputes over representation on the joint management committee
- Organised and conducted two Boggy Hole steering committee meetings
Provided co-ordination and support for projects in the Boggy Hole area including:
- a water-based IEK project at Boggy Hole with traditional owners in collaboration with NTPWS, funded by the NT NRM Board
- an ongoing Boggy Hole water monitoring program including fieldtrips with NTPWS, traditional owners and Tjuwanpa Rangers, providing paid work and training
- an NRETAS water monitoring trip in which younger traditional owners participated (including Tjuwanpa Rangers) under FEP arrangements, with some training and assessments administered by CDU.
- Produced and distributed booklets to Finke Gorge traditional owners to inform them of meeting discussions and outcomes.
Judbarra (Gregory) National Park
- Contributed in conjunction with the NLC to traditional owner consultations and negotiations with the NT PWS in resolving the name change of Gregory National Park to Judbarra National Park, including registering the name change with the NT Place Names Committee
- Held decision-making and governance training workshops with traditional owners
- Conducted consultations with traditional owners in five communities across 800 square kilometres to review the final draft Joint Management Plan for Judbarra (Gregory) National Park and obtain their consent to submit it for public comment
- Commenced negotiations with NTPWS regarding weed control and infrastructure development within the park
- Commenced discussions with NLC regarding proposed road and cultural heritage conservation matters
- Commenced development of permit application guidelines with traditional owners
- Consulted traditional owners of the park about the use of park rent money for community development purposes
- Developed a three-month FEP work program with traditional owners and NTPWS staff
Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) Conservation Reserve
- Organised and facilitated two Karlu Karlu joint management committee meetings including election of committee members, operational review and planning, and rent money consultations
- Produced and distributed newsletters and meeting minutes to committee members and traditional owners to inform them of meeting discussions and outcomes
- Planned a women’s meeting which was subsequently cancelled due to sorry business.
Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
- Held a meeting of traditional owners to review the ongoing implementation of the Rainbow Valley Cultural Heritage PlanTwo joint management meetings were postponed due to sorry business, rain and road conditionsDisseminated an information booklet among traditional owners to inform them more broadly about joint management
- Facilitated a meeting between NTPWS and traditional owners to discuss the removal of camels from the Reserve
- Facilitated discussions with traditional owners over the possibility (including challenges and benefits) of undertaking contract works on behalf of NTPWS
Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park
- Organised and facilitated a Watarrka joint management committee meeting to discuss a number of issues
- Produced and distributed a booklet to Watarrka Traditional owners to inform them of meeting discussions and outcomes.
West MacDonnell National Park
- Facilitated traditional owner contributions to the audio/video material for the new Red Centre Way Visitor Centre
- Represented traditional owner interests as a member of the Larapinta Trail Management Strategy Steering Committee
- Made significant efforts to organise country trips for traditional owners into various areas of the park but all were subsequently cancelled due to continuing wet weather conditions. Scheduled governance workshops were cancelled for the same reason
- Held discussions with NTPWS and a traditional owner about proposed commercial campgrounds
- Consulted traditional owners for the western area on a range of matters. Some site visits were also undertaken in association with mining exploration clearances being conducted in the area
- Organised and facilitated a joint management committee (eastern group) meeting which included operational planning for the year, establishing working groups for both fire management and interpretation, governance discussions and setting up the joint management committee. Meetings with the central and western groups were cancelled due to the poor health of a senior traditional owner
- Facilitated a governance workshop for the joint management committee (eastern group)
- Conducted initial consultations with some traditional owners about community development uses of park rent money
- The experiences and interests of traditional owners in the broader joint management agenda and Territory-wide implementation issues were represented by the CLC in inter-agency meetings and forums with representatives from the NTPWS, NLC, FaHCSIA and other stakeholders.
A range of specific resourcing, procedural and policy matters applicable to all 20 parks and reserves subject to joint management in the CLC region were also addressed in direct negotiations with NTPWS at a number of levels. These included:
- Finalising a review of park rental amounts by the Australian Valuation Office prior to invoicing the NTPWS for the first year’s rent for 2010-2011
- Negotiations to finalise filming and photography guidelines for jointly-managed parks and reserves
- The finalising of joint management monitoring and evaluation guidelines in conjunction with NTPWS and Charles Darwin University (CDU) arising from a linkage project funded by the Australian Research Council
- Meeting with NTPWS to discuss a range of NTPWS joint management capacity and funding concerns and related Indigenous capacity building and resource sharing opportunities
- A range of meetings with senior NTPWS staff on other joint management implementation matters.
Joint Management – Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (UKTNP)
The CLC has statutory functions in respect of the management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (UKTNP) under the terms of lease-back upon transfer of title to the Anangu traditional owners in October 1985.
Since 2002 there has been a dedicated joint management officer (JMO) to support traditional owners under two successive MOUs with the Director of National Parks which provided external funding for it.
Since 2008 recruitment difficulties and protracted negotiations over the terms of a renewed funding agreement left the JMO position unoccupied for an extended period.
These problems are now resolved and the terms of a new two-year funding agreement with the Director of National Parks to support the employment of the JMO at the CLC up to 30 June 2012 have been finalised.
The JMO provides broad support to the UKTNP Board of Management to carry out its functions, including the making of decisions about management of the park that are consistent with the Plan of Management and monitoring the management of the park by Parks Australia.
Wider representation of the interests of the CLC and UKTNP traditional owners is also provided by the JMO as a member of the joint management partnership (JMP) team. Other members of the JMP team are the Mutitjulu Community Liaison Officer, the Board Secretary and UKTNP Park Manager. The JMO continued to participate in fortnightly meetings of the JMP and consultations to address a wide range of park management and joint management implementation issues as they arose.
The CLC’s joint management responsibilities at UKTNP are also served by other CLC staff. In conjunction with these staff, the JMO provided a range of specific park management support to UKTNP traditional owners, board members and the Mutitjulu community, including:
- Support for three UKTNP Board of Management (BoM) meetings, covering transport and other support for attendance of Anangu board members, and interpreting and general facilitation of the involvement of Anangu board members in preparatory briefing sessions and the BoM meeting
- Contributed logistically and financially to the successful celebration of the 25th anniversary of handback on 26 October 2010
- Represented CLC and constituent interests, provided interpreting, facilitated traditional owners’ involvement and consulted on park matters arising from meetings of the UKTNP Cultural Heritage and Scientific Consultative Committee, the UKTNP Training and Employment Consultative Committee, the UKTNP Tourism Consultative Committee and the UKTNP Film and Photography Consultative Committee
- Consulted traditional owners and worked with Uluru media staff on assessment of various applications for filming and photography within the park, image use and intellectual property issues, and a review of the commercial film and photography guidelines
- Consulted with traditional owners and relevant UKTNP staff in relation to a number of tourism and scientific research permit applications, and the development of the UKTNP Anangu Cultural Appreciation Program
- Attended the Australian World Heritage Advisory Committee meeting in August 2010 at the request of the UKTNP Board in conjunction with the Uluru member of the Committee
- Assisted with preparations, facilitated traditional owner participation, undertook related consultations, and interpreted for two UKTNP World Heritage Workshops
- Participated in a number of UKTNP recruitment processes
- Held ongoing consultations with Anangu board members and traditional owners regarding the development of the UKTNP Intergenerational Employment and Training Strategy 2010-2020 including the reinstatement of ‘Malpa’ positions within the UKTNP staffing structure to provide formal APS employment opportunities for four senior Anangu at APS 5/6 level to utilise traditional knowledge and skills associated with cultural heritage and fire management
- Completed traditional owner consultations in relation to park management issues including the placement of counters on the climb to measure progress towards closure of the climb, and the placement of cameras at Yulara Pulka on the Petermann ALT to monitor feral fox activity
- Completed traditional owner consultations in relation to a number of infrastructuredevelopments within the Mutitjulu community including the Mutitjulu Aged Care Facility development, and a proposed interim housing management agreement involving the Director of Parks for housing refurbishments at Mutitjulu
- Completed traditional owner consultations regarding permit applications by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia to access the Katiti ALT, including transit access to Longitude 131 via a track passing through the land trust. A permit was issued on the basis that an alternative transit route be identified within the Yulara land boundaries to provide appropriate access beyond March 2012
- Continued consultations regarding tourism development proposals on the Katiti and Petermann Aboriginal Land Trusts
- Assisted traditional ownerst o develop Indigenous tourism enterprises and activities around the Patji area of the Petermann ALT and the Lake Amadeus area adjoining the park
- Held consultations and fieldwork with traditional owners regarding a proposed commercial ballooning activity in the Patji area
- Consulted traditional owners on a range of tourism matters arising from meetings of the UKTNP Tourism Consultative Committee including views on ‘the climb’, inappropriate use of the Uluru image in advertising, tour guide accreditation and strategies for expediting industry support for new and innovative Indigenous tourism initiatives
- Attended and facilitated the involvement of traditional owners and Anangu Board members in a joint meeting of Australia’s Red Centre National Landscape Steering Committee and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Tourism Consultative Committee at the Alice Springs Desert Park. Anangu members travelled to the meeting via the Red Centre Way to learn about other Indigenous tourism operations and joint management planning in NT-managed parks
- Maintained ongoing consultation with UKTNP staff and traditional owners on Anangu priorities and plans for the park’s 2011 fire management program
- Facilitated participation in the preparation of fire management plans and implementation of associated on-ground burning in a number of areas of the adjoining Petermann and Katiti ALTs
- Continued consultation and fieldwork with traditional owners to locate Katiti waterhole to support development of the Katiti-Petermann IPA.
Co-management - Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs)
The CLC continued to support constituent aspirations for the establishment and operation of Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) in Central Australia as a basis for protecting the cultural and natural values of their land.
A significant additional motivation in engaging in the IPA program is the potential it provides for a long-term operational framework for affiliated Indigenous community rangers.
IPAs are established through a consultative planning and development process conducted with traditional owners over atwo-to-three-year period under external funding arrangements with SEWPAC.
IPA declaration is voluntary and has no impact on land tenure but requires obtaining the consent of traditional owners in accordance with the requirements of the Land Rights Act and completion of a plan of management approved by SEWPAC.
Four staff are employed with SEWPAC funding to coordinate planning, development and operational programs in relation to the following declared and proposed IPAs in the CLC region:
- The Northern Tanami IPA (declared)
- The Southern Tanami IPA (proposed)
- The Katiti-Petermann IPA (proposed).
Traditional owner consultations and fieldwork were supported by CLC Regional Land Management Officers (RLMOs) and Indigenous community ranger programs operating in each of these three areas.
RLMOs also played a role in evaluating other potential IPA opportunities across the CLC region.
In this period an Expression of Interest was submitted to SEWPAC in November 2010 for a proposed IPA feasibility assessment project across some 19,000 square kilometres of the eastern portion
of the Haasts Bluff ALT on the
basis of its high cultural and biodiversity value and its potential to provide a long-term operational framework for the emerging Papunya Ranger group.
In the case of the Angas Downs IPA, declared across the Aboriginal-owned Angas Downs PL outside of CLC processes, statutory functions were also performed in representing the interests of native title holders.
Northern Tanami IPA
The Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared on 30 April 2007 over 40,000 square kilometres of the Central Desert and Hooker Creek ALTs after a three-year development program.
The IPA objectives are facilitated by a Northern Tanami IPA Coordinator under a five-year funding contract with SEWPAC and overseen by a Northern Tanami IPA Management Committee made up of both male and female traditional owners of the IPA area.
Implementation of the draft Northern Tanami IPA Plan of Management (PoM) provides a framework for the annual work program of the Lajamanu-based Wulaign Rangers.
A meeting of the Northern Tanami IPA Advisory Committee established to provide advice and identify cross-agency partnership opportunities did not occur in this period. This was due to recruitment difficulties.
The traditional owners’ representatives on the Management Committee, in conjunction with the Wulaign Rangers and the IPA Coordinator worked solidly to ensure a broad range of outcomes were achieved, including:
- The IPA manager continued work on the redraft and restructure of the Plan of Management to incorporate input from community consultations held late in 2010. A draft is expected for comment early in 2011-12
- A consultant was contracted to develop a feral animal management strategy for the IPA. Community consultations, aerial surveys and country visits were undertaken to estimate feral animal numbers in key management zones. A final report is expected in July 2011
- An IPA Management Committee meeting and fire planning meeting at Lajamanu were facilitated to set priorities for 2011, and was attended by traditional owners, Wulaign Rangers, CLC fire officers, regional staff and Bushfires NT. As a result more than 2300 square kilometres was burnt (see Wulaign rangers section above). Other management priorities identified in the meeting included feral animal and weed management needs and cultural site protection
- Worked alongside the Wulaign Rangers and traditional owners to undertake site visits to assess management needs at important water sites (Emu Rockhole and Kamira Springs)
- Provided logistical support for a school country visit (see Wulaign Rangers section above)
- Facilitated ongoing collaborative fire management efforts across the shared boundaries between Suplejack Station and the IPA
- Carried out weed control (see above: Invasive Species Control - Weed Management)
- Facilitated IPA Management Committee participation in the second Tanami Regional Aboriginal Fire (Warlu) Management Committee meeting at Hamilton Downs Youth Camp in October•
- Performed extensive fire management (see Fire Management section above).
A range of IPA objectives were also achieved this year through continuing collaborations with the CLC Fire Management Officer, Bushfires NT, NTPWS and the Lajamanu Community Education Centre.
Proposed Southern Tanami IPA
Primary focus of the Southern Tanami IPA development process in this period was given to the preparation of the draft Southern Tanami IPA Plan of Management (PoM), a pre-requisite to formal IPA declaration and ongoing management funding under the Australian Government’s IPA Program.
The CLC retained two IPA Development Officers for this purpose throughout the year. A range of traditional owner consultations and related activities were conducted over the period to further inform the development of the draft PoM, including:
- Conducted three IPA planning committee meetings to gauge traditional owner views on waterhole and weed management
- Conducted traditional owner and ranger group consultations to discuss land use aspirations, biological and cultural values/concerns and implications of including the Ngalurrtju ALT (former Central Mount Wedge) in an IPA declaration
Conducted a planning workshop with representatives from Nyirripi, Yuendumu and Willowra IPA management committees and associated senior Indigenous rangers to undertake strategic planning toward IPA declaration. The meeting addressed:
- key values, management themes and strategies to inform the draft IPA Plan of Management (PoM)
- development and ratification of a resourcing strategy to support community land management efforts in the Southern Tanami
- development of decision making structures
- nomination of project partners for key management themes
- input into the draft South Tanami IPA PoM and operational plans
- Conducted two Southern Tanami IPA management committee meetings at Willowra and Yuendumu concerning IPA and Warlpiri Rangers annual work planning, attended by 38 traditional owners and rangers.
- Drafted subsidiary operational plans for the three IPA management sub-regions (Yuendumu, Willowra and Nyirripi) to guide implementation of the PoM in each area
- Undertook broad community consultation about the Lake Mackay ALT and the IPA management plan (94 people consulted)
- Consulted with traditional owners from the Nyirripi and Yuendumu IPA management sub-regions regarding the inclusion of major site and estate names in the management plan (21 people consulted)
- Received final ratification of the plan provisions from IPA Coordinating Council members and community residents from Nyirripi, WIllowra and Yuendumu.
An advanced draft of the IPA Plan of Management was nearing completion at 30 June 2011 in readiness for presentation to the CLC Council meeting to be held at Kalkaringi on 24 August 2011 prior to submitting to the Australian Government.
Finalisation of content related to key management themes of preserving biological and cultural values, environmental education, employment and economic development, and related management objectives and strategies.
Negotiations are continuing with SEWPAC representatives about the level of funding required to effectively implement the PoM beyond the point of declaration. In this regard, the CLC also commenced the development of a Southern Tanami IPA promotional brochure and ‘prospectus’ for circulation to potential government, corporate and philanthropic funding sources to raise contributions toward a significant apparent shortfall of funds available from Government and other existing sources.
If declared the Southern Tanami IPA would be the largest IPA declared under the program to date and together with the adjoining Northern Tanami IPA would form the biggest single terrestrial protected area in Australia.
An application to extend the Southern Tanami IPA development project through to the end of the 2011 calendar year was submitted through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program in May.
If successful these funds will allow further input to be sought from traditional owners into the content of the draft Southern Tanami IPA Plan of Management (PoM) and development of operational plans for implementation of the PoM for each of the three IPA sub-regions. A decision regarding this application had not been announced at the close of this period.
The inaugural meeting of the Southern Tanami IPA Advisory Committee was also convened in this period with representatives from NRETAS biodiversity division, NT Eco-Link, SEWPAC’s IPA program, and WoC program. This Committee will play an ongoing technical advisory role in the implementation of the Plan of Management.
Proposed Katiti-Petermann IPA
During the year, the Katiti-Petermann IPA Development Officer continued to provide advice to traditional owners and community members about the IPA concept, development process, implications and potential benefits of IPA declaration over a large area of the combined Katiti and Petermann ALT in the south-west of the CLC region. This year saw greater focus given to traditional owner consultations and fieldwork toward preparation of a draft IPA plan of management, and also saw further surveys to build up knowledge of the biodiversity values of the area.
Such activity also provided traditional owners with opportunities to visit their country and places of cultural significance, engage in the intergenerational transfer of traditional knowledge, and discuss a range of management issues affecting their interests.
Significant IPA activities undertaken toward the development of the proposed Katiti-Petermann IPA in this period included:
- Progress on a cross-border IPA collaboration program in the southwest region involving staff from CLC, UKTNP, SEWPAC, APY and Ngaanyatjarra Council Land Management sections
- Conducted site visits and land management activities with traditional owners at: Umbiara (Katiti ALT) including tourism venture discussion and buffel grass mapping; Butler Dome (Petermann ALT) including rare plant survey; Mantarur (Petermann ALT) including buffel grass mapping; and various rarely-visited waterholes on the Petermann ALT including discussions on management of these sites
- Established collaborative relationships with Nyangatjatjara College and NPY Youth program and undertook joint exercises
- Strengthened stakeholder relationships with NRETAS, the NT Herbarium and Watarrka National Park through IPA development processes
- Conducted three country trips on the Petermann ALT as part of an intergenerational IEK transfer project (see output 4.3)
- Produced educational posters for traditional owners of activities undertaken as part of the IPA development process
- Conducted five planning meetings with around 70 people to identify traditional owner aspirations and inform the development of the draft IPA plan of management
- Commenced drafting the Katiti-Petermann IPA Plan of Management.
An application for further funding to continue the Katiti-Petermann IPA Consultation Project in the 2011-2012 period was lodged under the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country program.
Rural Enterprise – Pastoral
The CLC maintained support for traditional owners to undertake sustainable pastoral activities on their land through continued participation in the Indigenous Pastoral Program (IPP), a cooperative partnership between the CLC, the NLC, the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), the NT Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources (DRDPIFR), DEEWR and the NT Cattlemen’s Association.
In late June 2011 the ILC Board renewed its commitment to the IPP for another five years.
An important development for the CLC in 2010-2011 was integrating natural resource management (NRM) issues more fully into pastoral planning and decision-making on Aboriginal land by using the positions of Regional Land Management Officers (RLMO). They now perform NRM audits, monitor grazing land condition and take measures to address key NRM issues (eg. invasive species, erosion and fire management) relevant to pastoral production.
During 2010-2011 the CLC:
- Participated in meetings of the IPP Steering Committee, the Combined (NLC and CLC) Regional Working Group, the Southern Operational Working Group and combined strategic planning meetings
- Held the second Indigenous Grazing Land Management (GLM) workshop at Bluebush outstation on the Karlantijpa North ALT in July 2010. The course adapts Meat and Livestock Australia’s Grazing Land Management Course for an Indigenous audience.
- Maintained linkages with NT Government agencies and training providers to support and advise Aboriginal landowners on sustainable pastoral development issues.
- The CLC undertook initiatives to address specific NRM issues and improve sustainability on a number of IPP properties and other Aboriginal-owned pastoral enterprises including:
- Completed grazing licence inspections at Atula (Atnetye ALT), Ooratippra, Irrmarne ALT, Mungkarta (west), Mangalawurru (Karlantijpa North ALT), Daguragu ALT, Hooker Creek ALT, Haasts Bluff and Tanami Downs (Mangkururrpa ALT). These were carried out to monitor compliance with licence terms and conditions including environmental and rehabilitation conditions in relation to roads, erosion control, stocking rates and over grazing
- Undertook two pastoral condition monitoring field trips with traditional owners of Loves Creek station as part of the Greening Australia’s