In a ‘landmark’ decision by Livingstone Shire Council to accept sole trusteeship of the Reserve for Recreation, Public Boat Ramp, Jetties and Landing Place has paved the way for establishment of a long-term management plan with Yeppoon Inlet Association.
Mayor Bill Ludwig said Council this week voted unanimously to accept sole trusteeship over the area which will pave the way for sub-lease arrangements with the Yeppoon Inlet Association who had approached both Council and State Agencies with a proposal to jointly manage the existing jetty areas.
“Currently the State Government and Council are joint trustees of the area. Council accepting sole trustee status brings the area in line with the other foreshore area that Council manages and will provide for sub-lease to the Yeppoon Inlet Association and greater flexibility in the ongoing management of the Reserve,” Cr Ludwig said.
“All parties involved have been working with toward this outcome for many years which has been made possible thanks to the goodwill of the Darumbal People who are the Native Title owners of the areas.
“In recognition of the importance the area as a ‘safe harbour’ and historic mooring site for boats, Darumbal representatives entered into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the Queensland Government that will allow compliant existing jetty structures to remain and be managed under the joint stewardship of Council and Yeppoon Inlet Association.
“I must acknowledge and commend all those involved, particularly the incredible work that’s been done by the Yeppoon Inlet Association in working with the stakeholder groups to get us where we can now formalise the process and move forward.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the goodwill and support of State Government agencies along with the solid work of Council officers involved as everyone worked collectively toward getting the best long-term management outcomes for this important landmark area.
“Ultimately the Yeppoon Inlet Association will take primary legal responsibility to ensure that there is strict compliance by their members with the terms set out under the ILUA and relevant State agencies.
“As overall trustee Council’s role will be to monitor and ensure the broader community interest remains protected through a combined steering committee comprised of stakeholder representatives and the responsible State Agencies,” Cr Ludwig said.
Yeppoon Inlet Association President Ray Barry said the association appreciates the opportunity the Queensland Government and Livingstone Shire Council has provided at this initial stage of developing a leasing agreement to enable ongoing regulated use of the inlet.
“This partnership has been made possible in recognition of the historical boating use of Ross and Fig Tree Creeks by the Darumbal Peoples in the local Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA),” Mr Barry said.
“The hard work begins now to bring about an aesthetic and cultural change to this very important entrance to Yeppoon. We know that we will be ably supported by our key partners, Council, Fitzroy Basin Association, Maritime Safety Queensland and the wider Yeppoon community.”