Once again, all the seemingly yearly rumours and conjecture on social media and the press crying out about a supposed closure of access to the tip at Cape York have proved unfounded. Surprise surprise…! However, there is a small catch.
According to a statement released by the mayor of the Northern Penninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC), Mrs Patricia Yusia, the threatened closure of access to the tip of Cape York will not happen and it will remain open to visitors for the 2021 tourist season.
“Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council Mayor Patricia Yusia is grateful to the traditional owners of the land at Pajinka on the tip of Australia for working together with NPARC to continue to welcome visitors onto their land and resolve pressing issues for the upcoming tourist season.”
“We met with Elders and Members of Gudang Yadhaykenu and heard their concerns,” Mayor Yusia said. “Visitors to Pajinka, and indeed throughout the Northern Peninsula are welcome, but the area and environment is precious to the traditional owners and all of us.”
“We need to respect it, and ensure it remains a place of significance for future generations.”
Mayor Yusia said Council was now in the process of being able to support the traditional owners in developing practical ways of keeping Pajinka open to visitors which also ensures the protection of the area and environment.
“My Council respects the intentions and actions of the traditional owners. We look forward to welcoming tourists during the 2021 season to our communities. We acknowledge the majority of tourists are respectful during their visit to the area but would kindly remind all visitors to please respect the region and its land,” she said.
The threatened closure arose when traditional custodians of the Tip supposedly told the Cairns Post “For years, Northern Peninsula traditional custodians have put up with graffiti on cliffs at the Tip walking trail car park, a lack of proper amenities, and four-wheel drive enthusiasts littering, making their own tracks through the bush and using unregistered firearms.”
According to Cape York Weekly, to help deal with the issue, tourists will pay an extra $10 (per head) on the Jardine River ferry to cover costs for toilets and other amenities. When the road is open, tourists will be able to access the Tip and have their photo taken.
“We told you all along not to believe the fake news being pedalled by the Cairns Post, who ran a deliberate scare campaign.
Now it’s up to the tourists to do the right thing when they visit Cape York to make sure they leave the place better than when they arrived.” they said in a recent Facebook post and having another dig at their rivals.
Put it into perspective. $10 is not a lot of money compared to the total cost of actually getting there, is it?
So can we now just calm down and get back to planning our long-awaited trips to this beautiful part of the country. When you do get there, perhaps make an extra effort to look after the place, respect the wishes of the traditional custodians and not whinge about having to pay a small fee to improve the facilities?
At least until next year anyway!