Clashes over land use near Byron Bay have broken out between Jali Aboriginal Land Council and a group of women camping at the site.
Clashes over land use near Byron Bay have broken out between Jali Aboriginal Land Council and a group of women camping at the site. Claudia Jambor

Stand off with 'illegal' camp of Aboriginal women continues

A STAND OFF between a local Aboriginal land council and a group of Aboriginal women camping at a site between Lennox Head and Byron Bay continues today.

The women continue in their refusal to leave Gugamai, a parcel of bushland off The Coast Rd being used as a makeshift camp and meeting point for Nyangbul women.

Gugamai camp members continue to deny it is illegal for them to use the Aboriginal freehold title land owned by the Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Nyangbul elder Lois Cook said despite the camp being "thrown into disarray" after police were called in to evict residents on Friday, the land will continue to be used for "cultural purposes".

"If you look at Section 7 of the NSW Aboriginal Heritage Act, which talks about cultural practices, that's what we're doing here," Ms Cook said.

"We're meeting people, talking to people, doing law, and they're not supposed to interfere."

It's understood Ballina Shire Council worked with Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council to try to remove the camp yesterday after 13 months of failed negotiations with Gugamai camp members.

Councils have concerns over traffic, safety, the environmental and an unauthorised water tank.

But Ballina police did not evicted residents on Friday and told The Norther Star today, no further action is currently planned for the site.

Jali Aboriginal Land council has been contacted for further comment.


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