Aurukun Shire Council will document walking trails, significant historical sites and scenic waterfront locations within the town area that would be of interest to visitors as part of a plan to introduce tourism to the Cape York community.
Aurukun Mayor Dereck Walpo said the Council held a tourism committee meeting with representatives from Tourism Tropical North Queensland, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), Cape York Tourism, Sea Swift, Skytrans and the Ngan Aak Kunch Aboriginal Corporation (NAKAC).
“Tourism provides opportunities for Traditional Owners to preserve their culture and to develop their own businesses to create employment in the community,” he said.
“The interest in authentic Indigenous tourism has never been stronger and Aurukun is fortunate to have Traditional Owners who continue to practise their culture and speak their language.
“Our Wik and Kugu artists are acclaimed internationally for their Ku’ carvings which depict Aurukun’s camp dogs.
“Fly-in, fly-out tours for people wanting to meet the artist at the Wik and Kugu Art Centre are a high-end option while other tours might bring people with camper trailers to outstations where they can experience camping and fishing with Traditional Owners.
“Cape York Tourism and the Cape York Alliance have both agreed to work with Traditional Owner groups who wish to proceed with tourism ventures on country and they will meet in the next few weeks.
“A number of successful partnerships were discussed at the meeting where existing Ranger Programs are conducted on country.
“Sea Swift and Skytrans were also supportive of promoting visitation to the Shire through their services.
“Council has been working towards introducing tourism as a viable industry for the community with strategies including improved road infrastructure on the Aurukun Access Road, reliable telecommunications and upgraded accommodation facilities to enhance small business and tourism ventures.
“Safety is paramount and the Council has installed CCTV cameras which operate around the clock, employs community police and security guards and we work closely with the Queensland Police which has an increased presence in our community.
“Aurukun residents will be encouraged to talk to organisations like Indigenous Business Australia and Many Rivers to help them establish small business ventures.
“Aurukun Shire will document the town’s facilities as well as local sites with tourism potential and present this to the next tourism committee meeting which is planned to be held prior to the Christmas break.”