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Bromley re-introduces traditional fire management

Traditional Indigenous burning practices have been successfully reintroduced into the Bromley Indigenous Protected area to maintain and restore habitat for threatened species, particularly the beloved Palm Cockatoo.

The new program was developed with the assistance of a Looking After Country grant from the Queensland Government, with planning support from Cape York NRM. 

“The program has brought fire management into a landscape where, in some areas, there has been no fire for many years and a more recent history of wildfires in others,” Bromley Aboriginal Corporation Coordinator Chrissy Warren said. 

“This program is providing a gradual transition back to an appropriate fire regime and has provided opportunities for individuals to learn history and known ecological and cultural values to develop individual burn methodologies and operational maps.

“We now have nine Traditional Owners who are accredited fire managers - in line with Qld Parks and Wildlife requirements - who can now conduct on-ground inspections of Country to inform decision-making on fire management.”

Work focused on Michingun Nature Refuge, Bromley Yuuka Nature Refuge and freehold land in the south and west of Temple Bay, during June, July and August last year. 

It included: 

● On-ground fire management actions in accordance with priorities identified in the

Bromley Fire Management Plan. 

● Fire planning and applying for permits.

● Undertaking monitoring of fire management actions.

● Developing organisational operating procedures to support future fire management


Chrissy said traditional fire management had long protected rainforest patches as food sources for Palm cockatoos and preserved their hollow nesting trees in the adjacent woodland. Other  threatened species in the area include Cuscus and tree kangaroo, 

“The Traditional Owners all live off the Bromley property. The opportunity for employment and the resources to support spending time on Country is a key priority,” she said.

“They also have Country on adjoining properties including Wuthathi, Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park and Mangkuma Land Trust. By building the capacity of the Bromley Traditional Owners this project benefits adjoining properties and the wider community, and creates a skilled and qualified workforce through the delivery of accredited fire training.”