Charging fees for protected site

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 20:55
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Beautiful looking country.

As you can only get there by plane or boat is $110 entry fee high compared to the overall cost?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-29/aboriginal-sacred-site-protection-tourism-fees/6356840

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Reply By: TomH - Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 22:52

Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 22:52
Well the Falls trip is not cheap at about $700 each so I think they are just being greedy.

There is such a thing as sucking a teat dry and the result is dying so perhaps they can learn from that.

The indigenous people cost us enough as it is with their living in isolated areas and the cost of keeping them running for the few that live at each one.
$25 tops would be my call
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 07:43

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 07:43
Anyone who lives in even a slightly remote area has their cost of living subsidised by the government. That's why we only have Telstra mobile service in many areas out there, it's not economic for the privates to service them. It's the government's job to do that. Then if someone does try to make a remote place pay for itself by charging an increased fee, they are called greedy? If you can afford the $700 for the tour operator, you can probably afford the $110 for the owners. However, if they charge too much then business will drop off according to basic economic principles. You want them off the government teat....this is how they do it, user pays. You can't have it both ways.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:50

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:50
Pure greed. Simple as.

What exactly have they done to earn the $110. I,ll also bet that part of the $700 is also going to the "locals"..
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Follow Up By: MARIC - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:52
Michael
Have you considered that not all people are rich and have to save and scrimp to do their trip of a lifetime?
Or do you believe that I and my wife as retirees who have worked our butts off should subsidise those who don't? We basicly travel outside their areas and free camp
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:56

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:56
Using the term “greed” would indicate knowledge of what the cost is to provide the service and programs that are being suggested. The article doesn’t go into that detail, so it is as “throw-a-way” line typical in this sort of discussion that adds very little to it.

A read of the article indicates the local community has a balanced view and is prepared to speak to those with an interest.

And all Australians should embrace the idea of protecting our world class heritage areas, and I’ll put it out there that aboriginal people have done a pretty good job of managing it over thousands of years. My money is on them doing a much better job than some of our other government agencies and private enterprise whose only interest is to exploit rather than preserve for the benefit of all...

Let’s look through the price discussion for the time being and consider what this group is trying to achieve.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 11:13

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 11:13
I only hope the chinese don't get wind of it they might try and buy that to
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Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 21:59

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 21:59
Hi Michaeal

If you actually believe the following, you need to move to the top end for a while and enjoy the "local" hospitality for a while.

"You want them off the government teat....this is how they do it, user pays. You can't have it both ways."

Doesn't change everyone's mind being here, but lets just say MOST
leave with a different view.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 09:44

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 09:44
I think there is far too much focus on the “monetary” side of this discussion. For sure, welfare is a substantial burden on government finances and those payments are made to a broad group of Australians.

If you are in Central Australia or the Top End you might form a view that all aboriginal people are on welfare, if you were in Byron Bay you might be forgiven for thinking all white people with matted hair were living at others expense, and possibly are...

But isn't that the problem with type-casting - it is hard to tell from the sidelines.

But look through that for one moment and consider what many aboriginal groups and communities are trying to achieve in Australia today – to preserve our world class environment, and to protect their own sacred sites.

And much is said about “sacred” sites, often in ways that suggest sacred places are up for sale, but I suspect the average European Australian would not truly understand what is meant by the term “sacred” in an aboriginal context, and risking that casual observations on the topic erroneous at best.

Australians should embrace the richness of aboriginal culture, a culture that has well over 50,000 years of experience of managing the Australian environment.

I’d recommend all go back and read what this group is doing, the language they use suggests they are open to discussion with interested parties, but the over-arching theme is to protect and preserve for all, making money doesn’t appear to be the main driver.

But in the true Australian tradition of “giving a bloke a fair go” why don’t we see how these initiatives go rather than simply toss “well-worn” comments back at those “giving it a go” – otherwise nothing will ever change…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 14:16

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 14:16
So if an aboriginal man is on the dole he is a burden on society.

But when and aboriginal man charges a fee to visit his home land and make use of his property so he can get out of the system, he is greedy.

Therefore he is damned if does and damned if he doesn't.

If a white man is on the dole he is just an unfortunate individual and will get back on his feet soon, after all isn't that what the dole is for.

Then if a white man rents an investment property for profit then he is a shrewd and smart man.

Therefore nobody gives a sh1t because he isn't an aboriginal.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 14:22

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 14:22
By the way Tom H do you have an investment property for rent and would you say $25 would be a reasonable rent for it ??.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 14:41

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 14:41
If I did and I havent I would expect a reasonable return for my investment which by the way I would have had to pay for in the first instance.
The "protectors" of the land havent had to pay for it and with the numbers that go there a more reasonable fee would still net them a tidy sum.

Is expensive enough just to get to some of them without another large fee tacked on for no perceived gain.

"You" have had to buy your vehicles etc and maintain them without government assistance either. I bet you also have to pay a fee for your trips to Jim Jim and other "sacred" places. Im sure no one is against a modest fee but to charge $110 each for a family to go to the Falls is outrageous as the Companies doing the trips will already be paying them something for the privilege.

As far as them being on the dole, well there are plenty of others on it as well but who dont live in the back of beyond by choice, where there is no hope of ever getting work and so there is generational welfare by choice.

Also some in my area where people live nearby because there is no work and they come so they dont have to. Just bludgers some of them.
Incidentally because I am not a citizen I dont and cant ever get the dole and so have had to work for 53 years to support myself and family. Have only been out of a job by choice, so if you want to work there is always some work to be done if you want to.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 15:01

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 15:01
"As far as them being on the dole, well there are plenty of others on it as well but who dont live in the back of beyond by choice",

They live there because they were born there because it is their homeland, by the way they didn't have to pay for it because it was always theirs.

"where there is no hope of ever getting work and so there is generational welfare by choice."

Now they are trying to make a go of it with tourism you call them greedy so my post above stands.

Yes I pay a permit fee in fact I pay for 1 permit and 2 licences, the permit is a set amount and yes a small percentage goes to the lease agreement, I pay a set amount for the licences each and a per person charge each visit, I and my clients are more than happy to pay for the privilege, and yes all non NT visitors pay a entry fee, this fee is going up in 2016 and in my opinion by not enough.

The Desert wildlife park 3 adults and 1 child $205 for the day now that's a rip off.




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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 15:01

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 15:01
It is the owners property - we live in a capitalist society - they can charge what they want - if you are not prepared to pay - dont.
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Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 18:16

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 18:16
Steve

It is an interesting paralell when you look at the recent thread concerning Ningaloo and see how the views of many are different.

While not identical, there are similarities in that people trying to care for the land in remote areas place restrictions and charges. When it is the whiteman it is acceptable as he needs to make a living, but when the aboriginal does it he is accused of greed.

I didnt see people calling for Ningaloo coast to be openned and to be a free for all.

alan

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 21:48

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 21:48
I'm with Steve on this, if they can make a go of raising their own living standards by earning a buck and managing their lands then that's fine with me.
Throwing taxpayers money at them hasn't done them any favors, so the ability to undertake self management and work to earn a buck plus education can only be a positive for all future generations, I wish them well.

None of us like to pay, but that's just the world we now live in.
I don't have enough information to form an opinion as too whether its to much or to little.




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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:18

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:18
Okay But I prefer $25.

What about we get a list of unprotected sites , if there are any, and visit them. I am sure that a couple of places we visited weren't protected as they didn't have any art, or a place where you could light a fire or even an area where you could sit down and have a meeting. I wonder if there are any. Sure they had a waterfall and pool but that was all. Not a beach or easy place to tie up the boat. This one was taken way up river from Doubtful Bay in the lower reaches of the Harding Range and east of Mitchell Falls. The river doesn't even have a name on our maps. Access only by small boat and a walk of a couple of kms.

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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:56

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:56
What about an exact list of protected sites??

A complete list. This way any future tourism, business or travel can be taken into account.
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Follow Up By: lizard - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:14

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:14
South Australia tried to get that list back in the 70's and 80's , but then came up against the legend of the Bronze Wing ..... any land that has anything of value was put there by the bronze Wing - hence is sacred !!!
Was beautifully done I thought .......
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:18

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:18
"an exact list of protected sites"?????

Good luck with that Bigfish.

Many years ago my wife worked for a shire that had various development projects planned. No such list ever existed no matter how many consultations were undertaken.

It was amazing how many "sacred sites" could become "unsacred' if "sit down money" was made available.
I imagine there are many genuine sacred sites, however a certain degree of cynicism entered the negotiation process because the amount of intransigence displayed by some groups.

I'm personally very glad most of our remote area trips are in the past.

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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:18

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:18
The Bronze Wing has been replaced by the Dollar Bird ....
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:28

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:28
Even now, I would guess that less than 10% of the Kimberley is accessible to most people.
Most pastoral land is not accessible. A few small areas are accessible with permission and a fee.
Most Aboriginal land is not accessible. A few small areas are accessible with permission and a fee.
Most conservation parks are not accessible.
The biggest National Park is not accessible except by helicopter because it is land locked by pastoral and Aboriginal land.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 15:39

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 15:39
Interesting comment by the tour operator at the end of the article that suggests he is in favour of anything that restricts the volume of visitor access.

I have to say that in the time that we've been running ExplorOz, things have definately changed in the outback. The baby boomers are to blame ;) .... how dare they be all be constantly exploring the outback. We want it to be remote when we go there! (TOTALLY tongue in cheek of course).

I think we all have to respect that yes the outback is not deserted. Whilst populations may remain small, tourism is huge. The impact of this is real and so we probably do have to adjust our expectations.

We have had it good in Australia for a long time. Other countries have been envious of our freedoms and we've all grown up with images of these majestic remote places and we're encouraged from every angle that travelling to these iconic, difficult to reach places is just a matter of time and commitment. For many, that time and opportunity only comes at retirement but I do fear that if the current generation leave it to retirement (which they might never have as we are living longer we have to keep working) it could be too late.

I read an interesting quote the other day and I really like it so I'll leave off with this...
"The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later".
Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 17:15

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 17:15
I think "younger generations" are committed to preserving what we have for future generations, perhaps more so than in the past.

And I think that is garnering support from people of all ages...

The quote resonates loudly!

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 21:36

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 21:36
Michelle,
An anonymous quote very similar to yours was the reason that after 45 years being "responsible"(family, kids etc) I finally bought my, new to me, motorbike (Yamaha Vstar 650 cruiser) at age 74.
I owned my last bike way back before kids got in the way.

And I'm loving it, the wind in the face, the noise and the sheer enjoyment it gives me on the open road.

Disco.
(who, tongue in cheek, was blamed by his Dad for making him give up bikes, Mum couldn't sit on the pillion or get in the sidecar cos she was pregnant with me. Don't think I was forgiven for that until quite late in his life. Dad loved his bikes too)
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 17:40

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 17:40
The problem with Forums like this is that the knowledge and experience of the contributors is usually unknown. This leads to ill informed comments which confuse the isssues.
After many thousands of years our indigenous brothers had their world shattered several hundred years ago, their complete way of life was changed forever. Over the years they have been treated very poorly by, in many cases, well meaning governments and the "white" man in general.
As a regular outback traveller I am greatly encouraged by what I am seeing. There are
many Communities who are heading in the right direction and trying to get away from the "sit down money". The number of problem Communities would seem to me to be on the decline. Tourism and land management are two activities that the Aboriginal people are well suited to and we as white people should be encouraging them in their endeavors. Not everything they do will be fair or right, but at least they are trying to improve the situation and some patience maybe required.
At the end of the day we are all Australians and we should help each other.
Baz (The Landy) has articulated the issue very well and I would suggest that his words
come from some significant experience and well worth a reread.
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Reply By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 21:05

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 21:05
An interesting subject, and one that could, and will be discussed at great length.
If I may add my observations from a person that has seen a reasonable amount of change to the NT, I offer the following;

Baz makes quite a lot of sense with his comments and indeed they are well placed, however we have lived in…Darwin/Katherine/Tennant Creek/Alice Springs and Gove (Nhulunbuy) and this I would hope give me some credibility with my comments.

From 1974 and the Cyclone in Darwin to my travels through the WA deserts a few years ago I have witnessed enormous changes in the manner in which land access has changed.
In Alice in the late ‘70’s we could, and did, as a family visit many places as a family enjoying a weekend/few days in the outback. Redbank George, Ayres Rock, Boggy Hole ,Kings Canyon plus others spring to mind. No fees, no license, no ‘money collectors’
-and we enjoyed ourselves/looked after the environment/took out all our rubbish and more importantly did not see many other people.

-where were all the traditional owners then????????????????????????????

We also enjoyed concerts in the gorges with the likes of Ted Egan. A small fee to cover the costs of the artists and a great time had by all. Mataranka is another ‘tourist’ spot that comes to mind. Initially it was free and available to just about anyone that took the time to wander out that way. Last time we went (some years ago) it was costly and over regulated.

I guess that my point is if you are in a position of strength (read ownership, no matter how it is gained) of the area in question, then you can charge whatever you bloody well like. No cash, no go..

However I do not subscribe to this practise. Unfortunately I have to ‘suck it up’.

An enormous amount of our country is being visited by people that just did not have the opportunity to do so years ago. Should they pay for the privilege??? You be the judge.

MJ

-and I have no colour prejudices. I do however question the attitude of both white and aboriginal persons that are too set in there ways to see both sides of the coin.
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Follow Up By: MARIC - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015 at 09:55

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015 at 09:55
Michael, I totally agree. As a side issue the Premier of WA is considering closing down all the small unviable settlements in the outback which are subsidised by taxes we pay.
Ihave also spent around 9 years in the so called outback in places like Cue, Yalgoo and Wiluna just after they were given drinking rights and the right to receive full pay on outback stations, the result being a vast amount being then made redundant and on the dole and drinking to excess.
My question to the forum is which other Nation in the world gives away it's land to the indigenous population it has overun.
USA? no MALAYSIA? no JAPAN? No, so what are we doing????
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015 at 10:15

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015 at 10:15
Not sure what you point is in the last couple of lines.

USA does - most Malaysians are native Malay, most Japanese are native Japanese.

There are many countries where colonial ownership has transferred land back to indigenous peoples - Canada, SA, Zimbabwe, are but a few.

As I said not sure what the point is you are trying to make.

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