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Ewamian people negotiate historic farm access

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 14 March 2004


Aboriginal people and pastoralists in North Queensland have signed an historic agreement credited with promoting reconciliation.

A group of landowners have agreed to allow access to their properties so traditional owners can perform cultural activities.

Five pastoralists have voluntarily allowed the Ewamian people access to their land near the old gold mining town south-west of Cairns.

The move comes after a year of mediation between the two groups.

Kevin Hoolihan, from Gum Flat Station, feared losing his land when first asked for access but says the discussions eased those concerns.

"I can't see any problems but if there is I think the elders and us will be able to sit down and talk it out," he said.

Ewamian elder Ron Richardson agrees the process has improved relations between the two groups.

"What we done is get the pastoralists and the traditional people talking without any legal people involved," Mr Richardson said.

The Ewamian people are now hoping more pastoralists will enter into similar agreements.


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