National park renamed to recognise Butchulla People

THE Fraser Island section of the Great Sandy National Park will be changed to the traditional Butchulla name K'gari, as of Monday.

National Parks Minister Steven Miles said the renaming would recognise the Butchulla People, who had native title rights over the island.

"We've moved to rename the Fraser Island section of the Great Sandy National Park to the 'K'gari (Fraser Island) section' to recognise the Butchulla People's traditional name for the island," Mr Miles said.

"In October 2014 the Butchulla People had their native title rights over the island confirmed by the Federal Court of Australia, and it's appropriate we acknowledge this in the renaming of the Fraser Island section of the national park."

Secretary Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Chris Royan said the Butchulla people welcomed the renaming of the section of national park.

"Having the traditional name of K`gari restored to its rightful place will be like breathing life back into the island," Ms Royan said.

"Restoring the Butchulla personality of K`gari has been a major priority for the Butchulla people, after a 20 year struggle to be recognised as the traditional owners.

"This action of renaming the section to K'gari is a positive step in the process."

Mr Miles said the name change would take effect immediately and new "Welcome to K'gari (Fraser Island)" signs would be installed at the three barge landings on the island 

"It's important to note we have only changed the name of this section of the national park - this isn't a name change for the island itself," he said.

Fraser Coast Mayor Chris Loft said the change of the name to a traditional title was an exciting moment for the Butchulla community, but he expected it would take "a long time" for the name K'Gari to stick.

"Most people know it as Fraser Island and it'll be a long time before the new name catches," Cr Loft said.

"Let's get on with getting tourists on the island."



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