28 January 2015
Bipartisan commitment essential to Land Rights network
The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has welcomed the NSW Opposition's election promise to return Me-mel, also known as Goat Island, to Aboriginal people as a welcome recognition of the need for a bipartisan approach to Aboriginal Land Rights.
NSWALC Deputy Chairman Roy Ah-See said the announcement acknowledged the central role of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 in returning culturally significant and economically-viable land to Aboriginal people.
Mr Ah-See said it also demonstrated what can be achieved through cooperation and collaboration between the Land Rights Network and government.
"NSWALC hopes that the goodwill generated by this announcement translates into all sides of politics making a commitment to recognise the importance of land and Land Rights to Aboriginal people and the role it plays in delivering the cultural, social and economic needs of our people.
"The NSW Parliament's passing of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in 1983 provided recognition that land is at the heart of empowerment of our people both spiritually and economically.
"In the following decades, successful land claims have allowed Aboriginal people to revitalise culture, manage our own wealth base and control our future.
"NSWALC seeks that an incoming NSW Government reaffirms its commitment to Aboriginal Land Rights and to work in cooperation with NSWALC to ensure the intent of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act is realised," Mr Ah-See said.
Mr Ah-See also acknowledged the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council which was represented at the Me-mel announcement by Chief Executive Officer Nathan Moran and Deputy Chairperson Yvonne Weldon.
Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291