Blue Mountains City Council is undertaking a review of the existing plan of management for The Gully in Katoomba and is inviting the community to get involved.
The Gully is a dedicated Aboriginal Place under NSW law in recognition of the continuous occupation of the area by Aboriginal people until they were forcibly evicted in 1957.
Until that time it had been a living place for Aboriginal people since time immemorial, with plenty of shelter, clean water and food.
Chairperson of the Gully Traditional Owner Inc., Aunty Merle Williams, said: “The Gully is a sacred place to the Aboriginal community who came from the Gully. It was a place for everybody, regardless of who you were or where you came from.
“It is important that The Gully is managed in a culturally appropriate way using both traditional and contemporary practices.”
The mayor, Mark Greenhill, said council had a strong commitment to working closely with traditional owner groups to care for country.
“The revised plan of management for The Gully will guide the future use and management of this significant site over the next 10-15 years.”
Council entered into a co-management agreement with The Gully’s traditional owners in 2008, recognising the owners’ deep connection to the place.
The mayor said it was “fitting that the traditional owners and council work hand-in-hand to develop the new plan of management, and that Aboriginal cultural values, and the aspirations of the traditional owners, shape the vision for the future.”
The current plan, the Upper Kedumba River Valley Plans of Management, covers three public reserves within The Gully including Frank Walford Park, McRae’s Paddock and a section of Katoomba Falls Reserve. The revised plan will also consider these areas.
The review is being funded by the Office of Environment and Heritage through the NSW Heritage Grants – Aboriginal Heritage Projects program.
To find out more go to www.bluemountainshaveyoursay.com.au/gully-plan.