Indigenous Community Starts Kakadu Plum Plantation in Kimberley’s Fitzroy Valley

An Indigenous community near Fitzroy Crossing has started up its own trial plantation of the native bush fruit known as gubinge, or Kakadu plum.

Known for its high levels of vitamin C, there is strong demand for gubinge in Australia and overseas.

But supply is an issue, with most of the fruit collected by Indigenous communities harvesting from the wild.

Indigenous Community Starts Kakadu Plum Plantation in Fitzroy Valley

Photo: article supplied

Jason Dinning from the Marra Worra Worra Corporation said the gubinge trial was an exciting prospect for the region and the Ngalingkadji community.

“The ability to grow a tree that’s from country, on-country, with local Aboriginal people and develop a new industry in an area where there’s not a lot of economy, that’s where we’re aiming to go with this,” he told ABC Rural.

“We’d like to see the plantation succeed and we could then go to other communities and get them on board with planting gubinge trees.”

Community looking to other produce

Mr Dinning said the trial plantation consists of 70 trees and the community were working closely with North Regional TAFE to establish training in its cultivation.

He said the community was also getting ready to grow fresh produce.

“The other part of this project is the inter-cropped market garden produce, which will provide a secondary product for the community with watermelons, pumpkins and other produce,” he said.

“We start planting next week and it’s really exciting.”

Bush foods boom

Australian Native Food Industry Limited chair Amanda Garner said northern Australia was witnessing an increased interest in gubinge plantations, led by the Aboriginal community of Bidyadanga, south of Broome.

She agreed that consistency of supply was a major issue for the Kakadu plum industry and to see Indigenous communities taking control of the issue was wonderful.

“There’s risks with any agriculture industry, but I think the native foods industry really is growing,” she said.

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          Published on
October 4, 2017

International Visitor Survey Shows More International Tourists in the Northern Territory Than Ever Before

According to the latest International Visitor Survey, released today, the visitors contributed $485 million to the Territory, an increase of 16 per cent compared to the previous year.

Visitors to the NT spent almost four million nights here and spent an average $124 per night, the most in Australia.

More International Tourists in the Northern Territory Than Ever Before

Photo: article supplied

Uluru continued to be a major drawcard for international visitors with 185,000 visiting the sacred site, while 86,000 visited the Kings Canyon.

Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks were also very popular with 67,000 and 59,000 visitors respectively.

More than three quarters of the people who visited the NT, travelled to regional places outside of Darwin.

Backpackers Sebastien Cziglenyi, 29, and Nina Cesnovar, 19, said they were enjoying their time in the Top End.

Mr Cziglenyi had always planned to tour through Darwin on his roadtrip around Australia, but Ms Cesnovar only added the NT to her list after other backpackers in Perth recommended she head up north.

“I’m travelling all around Australia, and now I thought I’d look for work around Darwin,” Mr Cziglenyi said. “I thought I’d come here because everyone said it was a place filled with backpackers and there was lots of partying.”

Aside from the night-life of the city, they’ve both got out of town on tours of Litchfield National Park.

“If you come here and you don’t go to Litchfield or Kakadu, it’s just a waste,” Mr Cziglenyi said.

28 per cent of all international visitors to the NT were backpackers.

Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said it was clear the Northern Territory was a destination of choice for international visitors.

“International tourists are heading north when they head down under and their wallets are wide open,” he said.

“The Northern Territory is attracting record numbers of international tourists, and they’re staying longer and spending more.

This article was originally published by NT News.

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          Published on
September 6, 2017

Plan for Outback Indigenous Aged Care

The Federal Government will support communities in East Arnhem Land to establish an Indigenous aged care service for local Elders that also creates and sustains local jobs.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said foundation funding of $340,000 would help the project begin.

Working in partnership with locals is vitally important develop and help deliver aged care for the Nhulunbuy community.

Plan for Outback Indigenous Aged Care

Nigel Scullion

“The first stage of development will involve community consultations to discuss job opportunities and the best service model to meet the region’s needs,” Minister Scullion said.

“Recruiting and training local Indigenous people to work in the purpose-built service will be a key consideration, with up to a dozen full and part time positions expected to be created.”

Minister Wyatt said this would empower local people through training and employment, while maintaining strong connections with their Elders.

“Locals will be involved from the ground up, to design a sustainable, culturally sensitive service, providing residential care and support to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so they can stay close to their community and country,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The East Arnhem community will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the service, from planning through to operation.”

Australian Regional and Remote Community Services Ltd was selected in November last year to establish the service, after a competitive tender process.

“The Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have access to high quality aged care services that respect their cultural diversity,” Minister Wyatt said.

This article was originally published by the Katherine Times.

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          Published on
August 29, 2017

Program to Fixing Mobile Blackspots in Outback NT

Residents of Manyallaluk have received mobile phone and fixed broadband services thanks to a three-year, $30 million co-investment program between the NT Government and Telstra.

Manyallaluk is about 100 km north-east of Katherine and is home to about 100 people.

Both the NT Government and Telstra have each committed $5 million per year over three years to the program that will build at least eight new mobile base stations in remote communities within the Territory.

Program to Fixing Mobile Blackspots in Outback NT

Photo: article provided

The community of Barunga has also benefitted from the program and now has a fixed broadband service, further to its previous constructed mobile service, which will help provide new economic opportunities for locals.

Member for Arnhem Selena Uibo said the agreement with Telstra has been integral to the government’s pursuit of reliable telecommunications infrastructure in remote communities.

“The NT Government, in conjunction with Telstra, is providing people living in the bush with the same access to telecommunication services as those in our cities,” Ms Uibo said.

“The provision of this telecommunications infrastructure will provide the people of Manyallaluk and Barunga with greater capacity to develop businesses and gain access to economic opportunities.

“Access to mobile and broadband services allows families to more easily stay in touch, which is so important for our remote and regional communities. If an emergency were to arise, mobile phone coverage can play a major role in getting people the care they need, it’s a wonderful development for the communities of Manyallaluk and Barunga,” Ms Uibo said.

“I am happy to confirm that Santa Teresa, Kaltukatjara, Minyerri and Yarralin will also receive both mobile phone and fixed broadband services before the end of the year.”

Minister for Corporate and Information Services Lauren Moss will be in Canberra tomorrow to hold a range of meetings with Federal Government Ministers and Senators.

Minister Moss will use the visit to put the case for more Federal Government investment in telecommunications in remote and regional Territory communities as well as tourism infrastructure.

This article was originally published by the Katherine Times.

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          Published on
August 9, 2017

Improving Dogs’ Health in Remote NT Communities

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down for humans, but buttered bread works just as well when it comes to dogs.

remote NT communities

Photo: article supplied

The novel approach to delivering medicine is being spread around remote communities in the Northern Territory’s Roper Gulf region in an attempt to improve the health of all dogs living in the area.

“We lace the bread with a medication that treats dogs for worms, ticks and scabies,” said Sam Phelan, the in-house veterinarian for the Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Animal Health Program.

“And we give it on bread to make it easy. You can inject the medication as well, but then you’re catching dogs for needles and they soon learn what the rattle of the cage sounds like.

Dr Phelan said there was a common misconception that dogs in many of the region’s Indigenous communities were wild.

She said the term camp dogs, often used to describe the dogs that roam the streets, was terminology that did not accurately describe the situation.

Regardless of the naming conventions, Dr Phelan admitted dog bites and the spread of disease were concerns in communities with free-roaming animals.

But she said working with local animal management teams to deliver the medication programs had a two-pronged effect.

“By feeding them bread I get to know their owners and the dogs quite well, and problem dogs very quickly identify themselves,” she said.

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          Published on
August 2, 2017