Cultural site restored from dump

Cultural-site-restored-from-dump_largeBy Dianne Mauloni

Gunggandji Land and Sea Rangers are working with Traditional Owners to restore an area of cultural significance near Yarrabah, turning it from a dumping ground to a place they can use for gathering food, bush medicine, socialising and recreation.

Ranger Coordinator Jimmy Richards said, “Bundi Lake is a site of strong recreational and social significance to the Yarrabah people. The seasonal wetland site has been degraded over many years as a result of being used as an impromptu dumping site for old disused vehicles.”

Thanks to Terrain NRM’s Traditional Owner Water Quality Grants, the Gunggandji ranger team have had the assistance they needed to restore the area. Over the past 12 months, they have been busy cleaning up the site with over 30 vehicle wrecks removed, weeds sprayed, a new fence has been erected and over 70 native trees have been replanted on the site.

Jimmy said, “It’s great to finally plant the native trees and our Rangers are really taking ownership of the site.  Our aim now is to continue planting out the remainder of the site with bush tucker trees and we will build a talking circle to give people a place to come together and start using this area again.”

The group was awarded a project grant of $32,600 through Terrain from the Queensland Government’s NRM Investment Program.

Terrain’s Steve Bailey said, “Over $250K has been distributed to Traditional Owner groups across the Wet Tropics region to undergo on-ground projects that improve water quality flowing to the Great Barrier Reef. The area is adjacent to Kappa Creek which runs directly into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, therefore it was identified as a priority area for a project to roll out. Not only does cleaning up the site contribute to improved water quality, it has enabled the Yarrabah people to start using and value the area again.”

Since the Ranger team started working on the site in 2015, they now also have two additional teams to assist from the QITE community jobs program.