Aboriginal Land Rights Act key to delivering better outcomes in NSW

27 November 2017 

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs' five-yearly review of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 has been tabled in NSW Parliament.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Chair Roy Ah-See said the review contained no surprises and confirmed the legislation was a unique vehicle to meet the social, economic and cultural needs of Aboriginal peoples in New South Wales.

Cr Ah-See said the review acknowledged that there was more work to be done to fully realise the potential of Land Rights.

The Minister's review referenced NSWALC's call for a Treaty process to codify and provide certainty about the relationship between the State Government and Aboriginal peoples and how the framework of the Act could facilitate that process.

The review also identified NSWALC's commitment to driving good governance and regulatory compliance in the Land Rights network and the need for ongoing capacity building and training for Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs).

This work would be delivered in collaboration with LALCs, the NSW Government and the Office of the Registrar of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

Cr Ah-See said NSWALC's draft Strategic Plan for 2018-22 provided a clear pathway to continue work towards self-determination, economic independence and cultural strength.

"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council Strategic Plan's demand for the development of a Treaty would anchor the achievement of five key goals - protecting our culture and heritage, pursuing our full Land and Water rights, driving economic independence and prosperity, supporting our peoples and securing our future."

"The Minister noted that the review of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act had been undertaken during an exciting time for the Land Rights network.

"Over the next five years, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council Strategic Plan will deepen Aboriginal participation in the social, economic and cultural life of New South Wales.

"Through the strength of our more than 23,000 members, a democratically-elected leadership and a network of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils, our network is an a very strong position to fulfil the promise of Land Rights and improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples in New South Wales."