Representatives from the Traditional Owners, the Central Land Council (CLC), the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and Santos Limited have joined forces with the opening of the Undurana Camel Farm, 300 kilometres west of Alice Springs.
The Undurana Camel Farm will see the Traditional Owners farm feral camels in the region and sell them to local and interstate markets.
Almost three quarters of a million feral camels are estimated to roam central Australia causing environmental damage. The camels are the descendants of the 12,000 camels introduced as working animals to central Australia in the 1840s.
The camel farm ‘paddock’, which took three years to construct, covers nearly 350 square kilometres. More than 4,000 pickets, 12,000 spacers and over 300,000 metres of barbed wire have been used to build the perimeter fence which runs for 75 kilometres.
The farm also includes mustering yards constructed at the local Tjuwanpa outstation resource centre, watering points and loading facilities.
More than 50 people worked on the project at various times with Commonwealth Government funding through the Community Development and Education Program and in partnership with Santos which operates the nearby Mereenie oil and gas fields.
Santos agreed to partner with the Traditional Owners in the camel farm as part of the land use agreements negotiated in 2001.
“The construction of the camel farm has been a highly successful partnership between four separate groups – Traditional Owners, ILC, CLC and Santos – who have come together to make this project a reality,” said Santos’ Managing Director, Mr John Ellice-Flint.
“In particular we congratulate Anslem Impu for his vision, drive and leadership, and his team who have worked under tough conditions to construct this mammoth project,” he said.
“This is a project which has benefits for all, particularly the Traditional Owners who will be able to build a viable business providing employment, income and independence for Aboriginal communities, while removing the feral camels that damage the environment,” he said.
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