Due to the recent monsoon wet weather Gove has received lately, the Latram River and Goanna Lagoon (Wathawuy) recreational areas are now CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Dhimurru Rangers have been working hard over the past 12 months to repair the long term environmental damage that has accumulated over the past 40 years at Wathawuy. In the interest of maintaining the structure of the track surface and establishing the root system of the new tree planting we have decided that closing the area for the remainder of the wet season, is the most appropriate way to ensure sustainability for the long term.
Dhimurru have recently spent over $200K to resurface access tracks into Goanna and the Latram, thanks to Government funding. This includes a new crossing, allowing extended recreational use to the area over the wet season. We have expanded amenities for visitors and planted trees for future rehabilitation, aesthetics and shade. Thanks to the YBE nursery team and Faye Lawton from Rio Tinto for making this happen.
Ranger patrols and maintenance will still be conducted in the area and we hope the community will respect this decision.
Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation apologises to the community for any inconvenience and we hope the dry weather returns soon. Please look at the Designated Recreational Area status sign on Melville Bay Road for the latest updates or log into www.dhimurru.com.au or our Facebook page.
Last Sunday, 28th January, Dhimurru was called out for an unusual request to remove a Baru, seen alongside the fence-line at the back of G3 Camp.
Around lunch time Gumatj community member Gapanbulu Yunupingu reported the wandering Baru, and assisted Dhimurru Senior Ranger Gathapura Mununggurr and Project Facilitator Paul Augustin in the capture. It is assumed the Baru had travelled along the drainage system from either the town lagoon or the ocean from East Woody.
Dhimurru would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that Baru are everywhere and are on the move in the wet season. They can, and do as seen on Sunday, show up anywhere not just in places you might expect. Please be especially careful when near any body of water including the town lagoon. Also, take the time to educate your children on the dangers of crocodiles when venturing out with their friends.
Dhimurru is grateful for the sponsorship funds it receives from Rio Tinto Gove Operations to assist in the management of Baru of the region. This sponsorship, along with the NT Parks and Wildlife CrocWise talks that Dhimurru conduct at schools and childcare facilities, aids in keeping the community safe.
Please report any Baru sightings to Dhimurru so they can keep the community informed.
Always keep an eye out when recreating in the Dhimurru IPA.
Do not assume just because you have not seen a Baru that they’re not around.
They are watching you!
I am very pleased to announce that a new Executive Officer has been appointed to Dhimurru.
New to NE Arnhem, Christine Burke will be commencing on February 5. Christine has University qualifications in Australian Indigenous Archaeology and a wealth of experience working in Natural Resource Management and looking after country - working closely with Indigenous traditional owners and custodians. Christine’s career path included 5 years as Park Manager at Uluru Kata Tjuta and most recently working in Timor Leste as an Organisational Mentor.
Christine has posted a short biography detailing her background and aspirations on Dhimurru’s website http://www.dhimurru.com.au/staff.html .
Please join us in welcoming Christine as she takes up her important leadership role with us in Dhimurru.
Rarrtjiwuy Melanie Herdman
Dhimurru's Work Health Safety film in Yolngu Matha.
The Management and Staff of Dhimurru would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas, and best wishes for the coming year. We would also like to thank everyone for their continued support.
Dhimurru will be closed over the Christmas period.
Closing at 1pm Thursday 21st December and
re-opening at 9.30am Monday 8th January.
Patrols of Designated Recreational Areas will take place during this holiday period, so please make sure you have the required General Access and Special Permits if you are venturing outside the town lease.
All permits can be obtained online HERE
Advice for visitors using Dhimurru Designated Recreation Areas
Fire is an important part of our landscape. Plants and animals have co-evolved with fire and Yolŋu expert use of fire as a management tool. Yolŋu fire management over tens of thousands of years has largely shaped the landscape we see today. Well-timed, targeted and clever use of fire has notable ecological benefits, often significantly increasing biological productivity and biodiversity. As visitors to this country you are likely to encounter fires, particularly if you visit during the drier months.
During the dry season Dhimurru works alongside land owners to maintain a fire regime that aims to emulate traditional burning techniques and promotes. This involves burning country in a prescribed way, with different types of burns for different areas and burning to help to keep country open or to break up solid patches of fuel, to control weeds to promote new plant growth for wildlife to utilise, or to protect resources by carefully reducing fuel loads.
As is the case in other areas of Australia, fires should be treated with caution. In this part of the world however the risks of intense fast fires are much less than in other parts of Australia. Our savanna vegetation produces far less flammable oils and has an open woodland structure.
During the camping season (early through mid-dry season) fires are generally of low intensity, produce a patchy burn do not travel quickly and have a low flame height all representing low risk. Nonetheless, fires are to be avoided. Apart from the danger open flames pose to people and equipment, the associated smoke can be hazardous to your health, particularly for those who suffer respiratory complaints, and can reduce visibility creating traffic hazards. Be particularly aware that trees can be weakened by fire and may fall over during and after a burn.
Hot late season fires can be very damaging as they reach up into the tree canopy and threaten wildlife. Generally we avoid late season fires and take care to burn country at the right time. People are less likely to be out camping in these conditions because it is hot and uncomfortable.
When visiting our recreation areas we recommend you take care to ensure that vehicles and camping equipment are kept in the open areas we have established. We do not recommend driving through an area whilst it is burning but rather postpone your travel until the fire has passed. Always stay on the tracks and be particularly careful to assess trees close to the road or your camp that may be at risk of falling. If you have a respiratory complaint you should take extra care to make sure that you are not going to be caught in a smoky environment. Keep an eye out on the horizon for smoke and be aware of wind direction and strength. Plan ahead and if you think you are at risk then take precautions. If there is time you may choose to leave the area but otherwise make sure the area around your camp and vehicle is clear. There is no need to panic and you will be safe as long as you stay on tracks and cleared areas, and carefully assess trees adjacent to you.
It has been a very long process since early last year when Dhimurru were approved funding to undertake track repair and maintenance of the Wathawuy area but now the project is finally complete with Goanna recreational (rec) area and the new low level crossing now OPEN!
Visitors to the area no longer must endure the rough long track to enjoy the fresh water gem which is the Goanna rec area. It will now also be better protected with the same rehab management system in place as the Latram to remove vehicles and camps from the fragile river terraces to allow longevity of the biodiversity of the river for generations to come which is the vision of our elders. Many of the winding and extra tracks have been reduced.
Visitors can now enjoy three revamped campgrounds with tables and bbq fire pits, a new flash pit toilet as well as extra entrances to the river to take in the serenity and beauty of the water.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of a lot of individuals, groups and government funders. There are too many individuals to thank for the success of this project but they know who they are and should be really proud of their contributions and efforts. Dhimurru would like to personally thank the following organisations and government funders for making this project a reality and a success:
Department of the Chief Minister through the TC Lam & Nathan Recovery Fund, The Department of Transport through the REIF fund, Rio Tinto Gove Operations who have fully supported this project since day dot and none of which would have been possible without their approvals and support as most of the Wathawuy area is on the Special Mineral Lease.
Again, we would like to thank the NORFORCE crew for assisting with cultural artefact surveyor work, Datjula Work crew for assisting with infrastructure and campground maintenance and like to thank Wojtech (Tecker) Pendel for constructing the Goanna pit toilet. We would also like to thank Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation for donating the quarry rock used on the crossing. Thanks also to the Learning on Country students from Yirrkala School who worked as Rangers for 4 weeks during their mid-year break.
Dhimurru would like to make a special mention and thank-you to the civil crew at YBE (2) Pty Ltd as they were professional, dedicated and supportive to this project through rain or shine and have done a fabulous job with all civil works complete. There was no request too big or too small and we thank-you!
And the biggest thanks go out to the Dhimurru rangers who are not qualified tradies but who worked tirelessly through the entirety of the project and have excelled in infrastructure construction, project management and did some bloody hard yakka to get this project complete as quickly as possible for visitor enjoyment and better camping experience. When visiting the Wathawuy area please respect their hard work and pride in their achievements.
Dhimurru would also like to thank the Gove community for their patience and support during time of construction and traditonal owners for their on-going support of these projects.
NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. This years' focus is language and its role in cultural identity, connecting people to their land and water and in the transmission of history, spirituality and rites. We celebrated these things at Dhimurru yesterday afternoon with a flag raising ceremony. We remembered our Yolngu ancestors and sung in the flags in Yolngu matha and the language of the Macassans who have shared our history.
Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation is pleased to announce the Latram River Recreational Area will be OPEN from 12pm this FRIDAY, 9th June.
Not all infrastructure is complete and the area may be closed at short notice due to wet weather and/or plant machinery operation in the near future. However, the area is at a stage where visitors can enjoy the surrounds in safety.
Dhimurru asks that visitors only stay at the designated carparks and camping areas. Whilst Goanna is still OPEN over the long weekend, it will be closed for construction soon. The new low level crossing is still CLOSED at this stage so enter Goanna via current access.
Residents and visitors are advised Dhimurru will be patrolling at all recreational areas this weekend, please have current permits in your possession if requested by a Ranger.
Permits are required for all recreational areas in the Indigenous Protected Area and can be obtained online at www.dhimurru.com.au.