Paradise once more - Fraser Is park gets old name back
IT'S a beautiful thing,” Fraser Island aboriginal elder Malcolm Burn said of the state government's decision to restore the Fraser Island national park's original name.
National Parks Minister Steven Miles has announced the renaming of the Fraser Island section of the Great Sandy Naitonal Park to recognise the Butchulla people, whose name for the island, K'Gari, means Paradise.
Mr Miles said the Butchulla people were the island's traditional owners and had native title rights on the island.
"We've moved to rename the Fraser Island section of the Great Sandy National Park to the 'K'Gari (Fraser Island) section' to recognise the Butchulla people's traditional name for the island.
"In October 2014 the Butchulla people had their native title rights over the island confirmed by the Federal Court of Australia, and it's appropriate we acknowledge this in the renaming of the Fraser Island section of the national park,” he said.
Mr Miles said the name change would take effect immediately and new "Welcome to K'Gari (Fraser Island)” signs would be installed at the three barge landings on the island.
"It's important to note we have only changed the name of this seciton of the national park - this isn't a name change for the island itself,” he said.
"In 2011 the former Bligh Government officially recognised the traditional name for Frasr Island, with K'Gari entered as an alternative name for the island in the Queensland Place Names Register.”
"It's not the whole area, but we're getting there,” Uncle Malcolm Burn said.
"The island and Ayres Rock (now Uluru) are similar. It may take another 10 years to get the whole lot,” he said.
Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation secretary Chris Royan said the Butchulla people welcomed the news.
"Having the traditional name of K'Gari restored to its rightful place will be like breathing life back into the island,” he said.
"Restoring the Butchulla personality of K'Gari has been a major priority for the Butchulla people, after a 20-year struggle to be recognised as the traditional owners.
"This is a positive step in the process.
"We congratulate Minister Steven Miles for the ongoing support he has given the Burchulla people and look forward to seeing K'Gari in print as a section of the national park.
"Though this news isuplifting, we are sad that our Elders, who started the land claim process, 20 years ago, are not with us to see their hard work rewarded.
"Despite their passing, we know they are watching and will be very pleased,” he said.