Aboriginal Land Rights Demonstration in Hyde Park Sydney to protest the Crown Lands Amendment Bill 2014

28th October 2014

On the 21 October 2014 the NSW Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water introduced the Crown Lands Amendment (Public Ownership of Beaches and Coastal Lands) Bill 2014 (the Bill) into the Legislative Assembly. The NSW Government has introduced this Bill without any consultation and is trying to rush it through Parliament in this session.

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is of the view that the Bill seriously undermines the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 and limits the ability of Aboriginal Land Councils to make claims to certain Crown Lands.

NSWALC urges all members of Local Aboriginal Land Councils, all Aboriginal people and anyone who supports Aboriginal Land Rights to demonstrate against the Crown Lands Amendment (Public Ownership of Beaches and Coastal Lands) Bill 2014 and its discriminatory impact on Aboriginal Land Rights.

Aboriginal Land Rights Demonstration
Where:      Meet at the northern end of Hyde Park near the Archibald Fountain
When:        9am Monday 3 November 2014
Aboriginal Land Rights Demonstration Flyer

Reimbursement of Local Aboriginal Land Councils
Local Aboriginal Land Councils will be reimbursed for travel costs up to $2000 per LALC for attendance at the demonstration. LALC CEOs will need to provide written confirmation of LALC attendance at the demonstration to seek reimbursement. Please send written confirmation to policy@alc.org.au.

NSWALC's position on the Bill:

  • NSWALC strongly opposes this Bill and urges all political parties to also oppose it.
  • NSWALC strongly opposes any undermining of the objects and purpose of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.
  • NSWALC strongly opposes the extinguishment of land rights claims that have been lodged legitimately in accordance with the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983. These claims should be determined in accordance with the law as it stood when the claims were lodged.
  • Existing laws are sufficient to preserve public use and access and as such the use of retrospective legislation is unnecessary and inappropriate and does not uphold the rule of law.  
  • NSWALC contends that this Bill is discriminatory as it protects existing interests of other Crown land users, but not the existing interests of Aboriginal Land Councils in undetermined claims.
  • NSWALC is concerned regarding the Government's disregard for judicial process and Court decisions in pursuing such legislation.
  • NSWALC seeks further engagement from the NSW Government to develop a joint way forward.

Take action to oppose the Bill by attending the demonstration and by contacting your Local Member of Parliament (MP) and Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) this week to get them to oppose the Bill. Contact details for MPs and MLCs can be accessed on the NSW Parliament website at:  http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Prod/parlment/members.nsf/0/90842BBC8F05057ECA256BF1001D6243

Please contact NSWALC on 9689 4444 or policy@alc.org.au if you would like to discuss the Bill, the demonstration or NSWALC's position.

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For more information, please check out our Crown Lands page