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A Northern Territory cattle station is being turned into a conservation zone to be run by Indigenous traditional owners.
Fish River Station, about 150 kilometres south of Darwin, is the first land in Australia to be bought specifically to hand back to traditional owners. Indigenous rangers will manage the 180,000 hectare property which boasts ecosystems that are virtually untouched and home to a number of threatened plant and animal species. Fish River Station will form part of the Northern Territory's eco-linked corridor that runs from South Australia to the Top End.
The land was bought by environment groups in conjunction with the Federal Government and the Indigenous Land Council (ILC) for $13 million. Chairperson of the ILC, Shirley McPherson, says the project allows traditional owners to renew and strengthen their connection to country. 'Fish River can again become a teaching place for passing on cultural knowledge about land and lore to their children,' she said.