Fire crews have been working alongside the Butchulla people to fight the blaze on Fraser Island.
Fire crews have been working alongside the Butchulla people to fight the blaze on Fraser Island.

Traditional owners share fears for island’s cultural sites

FOR almost seven weeks, a wildfire has been burning out of control on Fraser Island.

Now the traditional owners, represented by the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, have shared their concern and distress over the situation unfolding on the island.

A statement released by the BAC said every effort was being made to provide support to fight the fires.

"K'gari is extremely significant to Butchulla people and is central to our culture and Dreaming," BAC program co-ordinator Rachel Killer said.

"Actively caring for K'gari is fundamental to the identity of Butchulla people.

"It is integral to our role as the entity holding Native Title rights over K'gari on behalf of the Butchulla people."

BAC director Jade Gould said the fires would have a long lasting impact on the island's natural environment.

"Many of our cultural heritage sites may be damaged, lost or impacted on in some way that we will not be able to restore.

"We have concerns for many iconic species and places on the island that not only attract many visitors each year but are also important to Butchulla people.

The traditional knowledge of the Butchulla people has been used to help the fire.

Butchulla land, sea and community rangers have also been part of the firefighting efforts.

The corporation has welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's announcement there would be a review into the management of the island and efforts to control the fire as well as the Butchulla people's desire for joint management of the island.



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