27 February 2019

Unprovoked attack on Aboriginal Communities ignores Land Rights achievements

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council is aware of inflammatory and destructive claims made about the Land Rights system by a NSW One Nation candidate.

These are disappointing and not representative of a very progressive and financially viable organisation which has helped build and sustain communities across the state.

NSWALC Chairman Roy Ah-See said that contrary to the candidate's claims, the NSW Land Rights system was a powerful vehicle for Aboriginal people to prosper in the mainstream economy.

"He has painted a very misleading picture. Land Councils in NSW are involved in successful businesses, property developments and home ownership schemes. They are also partnering with leading schools to provide educational opportunities for Aboriginal children," Cr Ah-See said.

"His assessment of our current state of affairs is so far off the mark, inaccurate and in many ways culturally insensitive and offensive that my preference is to ignore it and not give it another thought."

"But given some media outlets have chosen to give it a platform at a time when they could instead be focusing on our campaigns to improve employment, housing and water access for our network, I think it is important that we provide a level of reassurance to our community."

Cr Ah-See said a quick glance at NSWALC's Annual Report would show how wrong the candidate's claims were about its financial management.

"NSWALC's investment fund is independent of government and prudently managed.  Over the past 10 years it has delivered a return of 8.3% - outperforming similar government managed funds," Cr Ah-See said.

"Our Land Council has gone about our business, creating jobs, homes and economic opportunities for Aboriginal people."

"What documents like this prove it is more important than ever for Aboriginal people to get on the electoral roll before the state election to ensure they can vote and have a say in who is responsible for making political decisions in New South Wales."