Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 16 August 1990 obtain an area of land which people at both Yarralin and Timber Creek have been wanting to get back for some time. I have no first-hand knowledge of the area, although I have flown over it. Honourable members have spoken very highly of the Gregory National Park and I would 1 ike to see it one of these days, hopefully in the near future. I know from the time when I used to be with the NLC that Aboriginal people have always taken a very keen interest in conservation matters. It is clear that the officers of the Conservation Commission have established a very good relationship with the people on. the ground. Aboriginal people in the areas of Guri gNat i ona 1 Park and Keep Ri ver Nat i ona 1 Park have found that they can work with the officers of the Conservation Commi.ssion. It is only when politicians become involved that things get out of hand. Sometimes it is pretty hard to explain matters to old Aboriginal .people, such as those living at Timber Creek and Yarralin and to tell them for example, that the legislation does not allow them to claim certain areas. I believe that it was through the goodwi 11 of the Territory government that the 2 exci s ions were made available to Bob Shard at Yarral in and Laurie Roberts at Timber Creek respectively. I believe that there was an agreement that the Aboriginal community would not claim the stock routes and reserves which ran across the Keep River and Gregory National Parks. I would like to caution the Minister for Conservation in relation to a concern which has been expressed to me on behalf of the people at both Yarra 1 in and Timber Creek. Thi s may not necessarily be a matter whi ch the minister can take up, but the Conservation Commission can certain.ly do so. Concern has been expressed to me that there are difficulties with people 1 iving at Bucket Springs and Little Pol ice Hole, which are excisions of 2 km.'l to 3 km~ within the Keep River National Park. The difficulties concern access problems and building matters within the excisions. I be 1 i eve that the problems can be sorted out wi th the management of the Conservation Commission. Certainly, I would not like to see concerns or practices of this sort occurring in the area of Gregory National Park. Difficulties can and do arise. People tend to speculate on them and blow them out of all proportion. I believe that, with the goodwill of the staff of the Conservation Commission, it should be possible to work out some sort of agreement estab 1 i shi ng set gui de 1 i nes and procedures wi thi n the park wh i ch meet the needs of both the communities living on the excisions and the officers of the Conservation Commission. Generally, I support the minister's announcement of the declaration of the Gregory Nat i ona 1 Park. However, I express those concerns. I do not intend to refer to the Kidman Jasper Gorge Land Claim and the difficulty which the Northern Territory government is having in relation to its appeal to the High Court. The matter is in the court's hands, and I hope that that matter will be cleared up very soon in the interests of establ ishing a good relationship between the Conservation Commission, the Territory government and the communities at Yarralin and Timber Creek. I convey my congratu 1 at ions to the offi cers of the Conservat i onCommi ss i on in Katheri ne and to the officers of the NLC who have represented those people at Timber Creek and Yarralin. I believe that we have a beautiful park in the area and I hope that, in the future, people will be able to use it and be proud of it. Mr HATTON (Conservation): Mr Speaker, I thank honourable members for their general support for the work of the Conservation Commission in bringing this park to the stage of declaration. In my reply, I would like to take the opportunity to deal with a number of the issues that have been 9920
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