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Changes planned for Julian Rocks

Nguthungulli would be the new name for Julian Rocks off the coast of Byron Bay if a proposal is accepted which would see the Arakwal people have a hand in its management.
Nguthungulli would be the new name for Julian Rocks off the coast of Byron Bay if a proposal is accepted which would see the Arakwal people have a hand in its management. David Nielsen

NORTHERN Rivers residents have little more than a fortnight left to give their views on a plan to give Julian Rocks the Aboriginal name Nguthungulli.

The adoption of a second name comes with a new plan of management for the iconic outcrop, which is on public exhibition until March 29.

If the plan of management is adopted by the NSW Environment Department, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Arakwal people will apply to have the rocks and the area around them called the Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve.

Nguthungulli (pronounced Nuth-un-gully) means ‘father of the world’. Dreamtime legend says he created land, water, animals and plants and now rests in a cave at Julian Rocks.

Arakwal Corporation spokeswoman Yvonne Stewart has said the change would allow the Arakwal to be involved in managing the reserve ‘to ensure its environmental and cultural protection’.

However, the change would impact only on the rocks themselves, meaning current recreational activities done around them, such as scuba diving, would continue unhindered.

A spokesman for the National Parks and Wildlife Service said only three submissions had so far been lodged about the proposed change. However, he said most submissions on such plans tended to come in during the last few days of the exhibition period.

One of the three submissions, from ECOfishers chief Ken Thurlow has lashed the proposal as a ‘land grab’, saying the rocks were also important to the non-indigenous community and claiming ‘community anger is rife’ at the proposal. Mr Thurlow says in his proposal he would prefer a ‘joint management arrangement’ for the rocks.

Mr Thurlow’s submission was forwarded to The Northern Star. It was not known whether the other two backed or opposed the proposal.

After submissions are reviewed by the Environment Department, the proposal will go to the NSW Environment Minister.



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