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Henbury should be returned to traditional owners

Posted: Fri, August 30, 2013

The Central Land Council says that Henbury Station should be returned to its traditional owners who have been actively seeking to regain ownership of it for more than 40 years.

CLC director David Ross said the Pertame (southern Arrernte) people have a long association with the property.

“It’s extremely important country for them and we have nearly completed research to lodge a claim for  recognition of their native title rights to secure their interests in the future,” Mr Ross said.

There had already been negotiations with the current owners prior to the receivership of RMWAH and the assistance of the Indigenous Land Corporation has been sought to secure ownership of the property.

Many sacred sites have been recorded on the property and five sites, including three permanent waterholes on the Finke River – have major regional ceremonial significance.

Cultural and environmental values are at risk of being damaged by impacts from feral animals, wildfires and weeds and many traditional owners are also well versed in the important role of the pastoral industry and see great potential for training and employment on the property.

“Given the covenants which bind the lease and impose substantial management requirements on the property, the traditional owners, with the assistance of the CLC and the ILC, are adamant that they are best placed to manage the country sustainably by developing a property management plan that balances protection with production,” Mr Ross said.