State Government provides a grant of $5.4 million to boost Aboriginal cultural tourism in Coffs Harbour.

Clark Webb with Gurmesh Singh and local dancers at the grant announcement at Sealy Lookout. Photo, David Tune.

 

STATE member for Coffs Harbour, Mr Gurmesh Singh announced a major grant of $5.4 million from the State government to Bularri Muurlay Nyannggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) and Wajaama Yaam Adventure Tours to upgrade and expand their cultural tourism offerings.

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The announcement was made at Sealy lookout on Thursday 8 October and included a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and dance performances.

BMNAC executive officer Clark Webb said, “This grant will allow us to upgrade the café at Sealy lookout, build an amphitheatre for performances at Korora lookout and create a new eco resort offering high quality camping on Coffs Creek. The interest in learning about and experiencing Aboriginal culture has increased greatly in recent years, and we look forward to offering a greater range of activities to cater to this demand.”

The Sealy lookout café will be expanded to include a deck seating up to 34 people, and will be connected to the electrical grid, replacing the current generator.

The eco resort is planned to offer up to 30 ‘glamping’ style pod tents and will connect with tours and activities in and around the Coffs Coast focusing on Aboriginal culture.

CEO of the Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council Nathan Brennan told News Of The Area, “Clark dreams big, and this grant is very significant for us, as the start of our own local economy and a huge opportunity for the local Aboriginal community. Income from these ventures will allow us to continue our work towards establishing a Gumbaynggirr school.”

Mr Singh pointed out that the benefits of local Aboriginal cultural tourism are significant and far reaching, “Aboriginal cultural tourism educates about our past, present and future, but it also creates jobs and supports local economies.

“From construction phase to completion, this project will create jobs specifically for Aboriginal educators, performers, trainers and tradespeople.

“As tourists stay longer to take in this unique experience, they will spend with other local businesses and tourism operators, which provides a further social and financial boost to our area after the impacts of bushfire and COVID-19.”

 

By David TUNE

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