The Central Land Council welcomes a report about empowering traditional owners in the management and operation of Commonwealth national parks by a senior advisory group on joint management arrangements.

CLC chair Sammy Wilson called on all political parties to commit to the implementation of the SAG’s recommendations.

He also commended Environment Minister Sussan Ley for announcing new investments across three parks, including the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

“It’s good that the minister has promised to fund more Anangu jobs and to help us fight threats to our land,” Mr Wilson said.

“We want to protect our threatened sites, plants and animals, burn our country the right way and share its stories.”

The tourism operator and former chair of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s board of management wants to see the 24 recommendations of the report followed up with real action.

“We’ve been asking for these reforms for a very long time and have taken part in too many reports already, for example the Joint Management Futures report of 2015.”

“There is an election coming and Anangu want to know what the parties will do to help us become equal partners on our land at last,” he said.

CLC chief executive Lesley Turner is hoping for a clear commitment to creating many more meaningful jobs for Anangu on the park, including casual employment.

“The recommended new cultural co-ordinator and engagement officer positions would be a good first step towards putting the intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge front and centre,” he said.

“Supporting these workers means accommodating cultural and kinship obligations and requires greater flexibility than the federal public service has been able to muster to date.”

Mr Turner welcomed the SAG’s focus on better resourcing for culturally sustainable tourism by and with Anangu.

“For too long this massive task has been pursued in a token manner,” he said.

“Supporting traditional owners to work in tourism and realise their business ideas takes dedicated and stable resources, such as staffing and access to real business development expertise and mentoring.

“There is a gulf to bridge, from education and training to work readiness, and we look forward to sharing what we’ve learned from our successful ranger and community development programs,” he said.

11 March 2022