Ben Boyd National Park - 2EC

Ben Boyd National Park to be renamed

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Ben Boyd National Park on NSW’s far south coast will be renamed in the language of Traditional Custodians recognising the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said the decision follows requests from Aboriginal communities to rename the park due to Ben Boyd’s association with ‘blackbirding’, a practice that involved the coercion of people through deception or kidnapping to work as slaves or poorly paid labourers.

“It is time to acknowledge the real history of Ben Boyd and remove his name from the national park that continues to hold enormous cultural significance for Aboriginal people,” Mr Kean said.

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“It is clear from the expert historical analysis, that Ben Boyd’s association with ‘blackbirding’ should not be reflected or celebrated in any way in our National Parks.”

“There are many people from NSW’s early history who are worth remembering and celebrating but it is clear from this historical analysis that Ben Boyd is not one of them.”

“By re-naming the park, we not only celebrate ancient Aboriginal culture but also recognise its importance to Aboriginal people in recent history.”

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Chair of the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council BJ Cruise told  NITV it's an important action by the government.

"When something is named after somebody who was so disrespectful to Aboriginal people, it's a slap in the face, so we wanted to get rid of the name of Ben Boyd and we want to replace it with a more appropriate name," Mr Cruise said. 

"In historical documents, Ben Boyd has catogorised Aboriginal people as 'vermin', to have such a thing as a national park named after him is completely wrong and National Parks is a body that among other things is responsible for the protection of Aboriginal heritage."

The next step is for the government to work with Elders and Aboriginal community representatives to identify a new name for the park.

Consultation on a new name is expected to start in the coming weeks.

Last year NPWS responded to calls to rename Ben Boyd National Park by engaging an independent historian, Dr Mark Dunn, to provide a report on the history of Ben Boyd on the NSW South Coast.

Dr Dunn’s report confirms Ben Boyd’s involvement in ‘blackbirding’, was viewed by many at the time as a form of slavery.

Renaming the park follows the NPWS Parks Name Policy where new park names should come from Aboriginal communities.

Image Credit: Flying Parrot

Tip-off results in hundreds of mussels being returned to the water

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Acting on information provided to NSW DPI's Fishers Watch hotline, Fisheries Officers have been able to respond quickly to a report of alleged over-collection of Mussels at Ben Boyd National Park near Eden.

Arriving just as the fishing party of four was packing up for the day, Fisheries Officers inspected the fishers' catch and equipment.

In two large buckets, the fisheries officers found 797 mussels which, based on the number of fishers, was 597 over the legal bag limit for the four fishers.

Mussels, cockles and pipis have a combined bag limit of 50 in total however, only a maximum of 20 cockles in possession is permitted.

In another bag belonging to the fishers, Fisheries Officers found a number of mixed fin fish, including silver trevally, with their tails cut off.

Fish species that have a size limit cannot be mutilated in any way that might impact the accurate measurement of their size, including cutting the tails off.

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Gilling and gutting is permitted.

All excess mussels were returned to the water alive by Fisheries Officers with the mutilated fish seized.

Compliance actions against the fishers will now follow.

NSW DPI would like to thank members of the public who call the Fishers Watch hotline. The information provided helps Fisheries Officers target their patrols to improve the sustainability of NSW's fisheries resources.

If you see suspicious fishing activity, you can call 1800 0430536 or report it online at https://fal.cn/3fMUz.

Fishing rules and regulations are available on NSW DPI website or via the FishSmart app which can be downloaded for free from app stores.

Images: NSW Fisheries

Workshop to rename Ben Boyd National Park

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A community workshop is being held in Eden this week for Aboriginal people and organisations interested in participating in the renaming process of Ben Boyd National Park.

Last year, The NSW Government agreed to rename the Park to reflect Aboriginal cultural values, following requests from Indigenous communities to rename the park due to Boyd’s association with ‘blackbirding’, a practice that involved the coercion of people into slave labour.

Michael Williams and Susan Donaldson have been engaged by the National Parks & Wildlife Service to facilitate the identification of an Aboriginal name for the park to replace the name Ben Boyd.

The aim of the workshop is to identify an Aboriginal name for the park that reflects Aboriginal cultural values and identify the reasons why the Aboriginal name is important to the Aboriginal community.

The community workshop will be held at the RSL Memorial hall in Eden (84 Bass Street, Eden), this Wenesday (May 4) from 11am to 3pm.