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Now to the story...

Indigenous group signs canopy land use agreement

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on March 25th, 2002.

An indigenous group has signed a land use agreement over a proposed $7 million canopy walk in far north Queensland.

The Mamu people, Wet Tropics Management Authority and Johnstone Shire Council signed the agreement over Crawfords Lookout in the Wooroonooran National Park on the weekend.

The Member for Mulgrave, Warren Pitt, says the 800 metre trail will be a major tourist drawcard.

"It was very significant because it just goes to show the process that we've been going through for the last two years is working," he said.

"Resolving issues of native title and the involvement of the Mamu people in the project was vital to its success.

"At the end of the day, this is not just going to be a marvellous tourist venture it will also have a great deal of traditional culture behind it as well."

Johnstone Shire last week called on the government to provide $1 million for the approvals process for the trail.

But Mr Pitt says there are sufficient funds remaining from an original $500,000 grant for the project to progress.

"The majority of that money has been expended on working up the proposal and also purchasing freehold land adjacent to the park for off-park necessary infrastructure," he said.

"At this stage there is a little money left and my understanding is that a solid business plan will now be put in place as an attempt to gain financial support from the State Government and consider other options as well."



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