MOU strengthens ties between Native Title and Land Rights in NSW

30 September 2015

MOU strengthens ties between Native Title and Land Rights in NSW

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and NTSCORP Limited, the native title service provider for Traditional Owners in NSW and the ACT, have taken a further step in strengthening their relationship by renewing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

NSWALC Chair Craig Cromelin said the MOU identified priority issues both organisations could work to achieve, including environmental protection, culture and heritage reform, promoting awareness and exploring ways to maximise land justice for Aboriginal people.

"Our organisations have achieved a lot for Aboriginal people in New South Wales by working together. Today's renewal of the MOU is the next step in strengthening our relationship.

"It shows a strong commitment to work together for the benefit of Aboriginal people to achieve the best of both Land Rights and Native Title and to promote stronger leadership and a stronger future for our people," he said.

Mr Cromelin said recent Native Title determinations - Barkandji in Western NSW and Yaegl on the North Coast - showed that both Native Title and Land Rights can co-exist and work together in New South Wales.

"While Native Title and the Land Rights system in New South Wales are very different, they both benefit Aboriginal people. The challenge for both organisations is to lead the way so our communities can achieve the best of both systems," he said.

NTSCORP Chairperson Michael Bell said that he looked forward to working with NSWALC and strengthening the complimentary aspects of the two systems that need not be in opposition.

 "A key area we can work together is economic development," he said.

 "Improved socio-economic conditions for all Aboriginal people in NSW is an aim of both organisations and equitable access to land and water is vital to achieving this."  Mr Bell also commented that NTSCORP and NSWALC dealt with similar branches of the NSW Government when working within their respective legislative regimes.

"The NSW Crown Solicitors Office plays an important role in the assessment of both Native Title and Land Rights claims," he said.

"The renewed MOU, which includes a joint working party, creates a platform for sharing strategies about negotiating with government and the potential for achieving improved outcomes in the land justice fight."

Media contacts: Andrew Williams (NSWALC) 0429 585 291 and Michael Bennett (NTSCORP) 0428 880 679