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Signing of Hunter Island Lease an Outstanding Community Achievement

22 November 2006

Today's signing of a grazing lease for Hunter Island by the Maguire family was a proud and significant moment for the Circular Head community,' Cr Ross Hine, Mayor of Circular Head, said today.

'The signing culminates three years of struggle by the Maguire family to overcome bureaucratic resistance to obtain the lease of the island.'

'The Maguire's plan to graze the island whilst conserving its natural and cultural values was solidly backed by Council and the community.'

'Ours is a small community with a very strong sense of identity and tradition. The islands off our coast, Hunter included, are part of our dreaming.'

'While we understand and respect the perspectives of government and environmental groups, we can manage these resources ourselves and do it in a way that not only protects the environment but builds and strengthens our social fabric,' Cr Hine said.

The management regime the Maguires will implement will be a state first. They will commit to the development of a range of natural resource management strategies funded from the profits of grazing.

They will take advice not just from the Parks and Wildlife Service but also from a Council-sponsored, community-based advisory group which will work closely with and support the Maguires.

'On behalf of the Council and the wider Circular Head community I wish the Maguires well in their new venture and look forward to seeing Hunter Island restored to its full social, economic and environmental potential,' he said.

Ends.

For further information, contact Ross Hine Ph 6457 1154

Authorised for general media distribution by Greg Winton, General Manager, Circular Head Council on Wednesday, 22 November 2006.

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