Blue Mountains bushfire recovery continues with new funding for cultural burning workshops

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Thousands of years of Indigenous land and fire management knowledge is being harnessed as part of a Morrison Government program to help local communities and regions better prepare for major bushfire events.


The Dharug Ngurra Aboriginal Corporation will receive over $163,000 for their project, Healing Fire – Walking Together to Heal Dharug Country.


Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said ten Dharug-led workshops will be held at Yellomundee Regional Park in Hawkesbury Heights.


“Through collaboration between traditional owners and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Firesticks Alliance and the Yanama Budyari Gumada Research Collective, cultural burning knowledges will be shared to help existing partnerships with key fire and land management agencies,” Senator Payne said.


“Importantly, the workshops will encompass cultural burning-sharing protocols and how young people can engage with these knowledge practices in an appropriate way.


“Cultural burning was raised directly with the Minister for the Environment at a function I hosted with traditional owners, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel and members of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute late last year in Springwood.


“Again, we have listened to the experts and delivered strong funding support to ensure our local environment continues to recover from the bushfires.”


Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, said the Indigenous workshops would share knowledge about cultural burning practices, and the ways they can assist with local land management and bushfire preparedness strategies.


“Increasing understanding of local landscapes, flora and fauna and how these interact with cultural burning is an important part of the fire and land management conversation,” Minister Ley said.


“Traditional Owner groups will hold workshops across the country sharing their knowledge with local land managers, local fire services and councils to identify different types of burns and the ideal weather conditions for protecting native flora and fauna during burns.”


The collaboration between Indigenous and conventional land and fire managers is being supported through the Morrison Government’s $200 million investment in bushfire recovery for wildlife and their habitat, part of the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.


The Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation uses the term ‘cultural burning’ to describe burning practices developed by Aboriginal people to enhance the health of the land and its people. Cultural burning can include burning or prevention of burning of Country for the health of particular plants and animals such as native grasses, emu, black grevillea, potoroo, bushfoods, threatened species or biodiversity in general.