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Wangetti Trail milestone marks new era for jobs and sustainable tourism

Joseph Guenzler -

On Friday, Djabugay Traditional Owners alongside Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk marked a significant moment by commemorating the signing of Indigenous Land Use Agreements for the Wangetti Trail.

Accompanied by Traditional Owners, the Premier, along with Member for Barron River Craig Crawford, Member for Cairns Michael Healy, and Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, traversed the initial 1.3 kilometers of the Wangetti Trail, north of Cairns.

Securing Indigenous Land Use Agreements with the Djabugay people allows for commencement of work in National Park areas from Palm Cove to Mowbray River, prioritising the protection of cultural heritage.

"The Wangetti Trail will provide business, education, training and employment opportunities for our people including pathways for our young people, our Elders and our community members working and celebrating Country," Traditional Owners said.

"The Trail will showcase our ancient culture, stories, history, and our country's natural wonders to share with the world.

"By recognising the Trail's significance to the Djabugay Nations' people, it supports the process of healing."

The $47.1 million, 94-kilometer Wangetti Trail stands as Queensland's sole purpose-built walking and mountain bike track within a National Park.

Wangetti Trail has been co-designed with Djabugay Nations' Traditional Owners including the Djabugay, Yirrganydji, Buluwai, Nyakali and Guluy groups.

"The Trail follows the ancient trail used by our Elders as traditional walking pathways throughout the Country to do business, connect and celebrate together," Traditional Owners added.

"Every part along the Trail has a story that has been handed down through generations."

Assistant Tourism Minister and Member for Cairns Michael Healy noted the unique tourism experience is like that of no other in Queensland, and the world.

"The trail's extraordinary rainforest and reef scenery will make this project a sought-after destination for mountain bike riders and international hikers alike," Mr Healy said.

"I want to thank the Traditional Owners for their partnership on Wangetti Trail, their involvement will add to the richness of this world-class visitor experience."

The Wangetti Trail's blueprint will feature camping facilities and eco-accommodation along the route, catering to hikers with an estimated completion time of up to six days.

The construction phase is set to generate 150 jobs in Queensland, offering sustainable and enduring tourism prospects for Traditional Owners.

"We look forward to collaborating and developing long-term relationships and creating new opportunities for the future," Traditional Owners said.

"We wish to acknowledge and thank everyone involved in the project from the beginning to this point, and growing the partnership with the Queensland Government, local Councils and other stakeholders."

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