A culturally-significant 'scar tree' in Coonabarabran has been protected, denoting its historical significance to the local Aboriginal community.
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The gum tree, located on Crown Land in the Warrumbungle Shire town, was brought to the attention of authorities by a local Aboriginal Elder after the tree fell down.
It has now been protected by Crown Lands in the Department of Planning and Environment, alongside Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) and community members.
Scar trees are trees that have been left with distinctive markings created by Aboriginal people while obtaining bark to make shelters or other objects, or for artwork or other ceremonial uses depending on the local Aboriginal culture.
Brandon Nixon, CEO of LALC, said scar trees give historic details about the tree or an activity that occurred at the time the artefact was taken.
"They're quite significant to Aboriginal people to be able to preserve the history and continue that storytelling," Mr Nixon told the Daily Liberal.
Mr Nixon said the authority was in the process of planning cultural surveys to see which other scar trees are in the area.
"Now we have identified there is at least one in there, now we want to determine what else the land is used for," Mr Nixon said.
He said it was "very special" a local Elder identified the tree and could "help us identify these significant trees and areas in the land".
"The Gamiliaraay people have a long and rich history in this area and protecting items of traditional culture such as this is very important," he said.
Fencing and a steel cage with a roof have been placed around the tree which is located approximately 1.5 kilometres north of Coonabarabran.
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A sign designed by Aboriginal artist Nikita Ridgeway from Boss Lady Creative Designs has been erected to highlight the tree's significance and the cooperation between Crown Lands, Coonabarabran LALC and the community to recognise and preserve it.
Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said Crown land reserves are held in trust for the community and can support everything from heritage and history to grazing, parks, showgrounds and racecourses.
"It's fantastic to see this community effort to preserve and highlight an important piece of local Aboriginal culture for both current and future generations," Mr Kamper said.
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