NSW Parliament celebrates Aboriginal Land Rights Act

3 June 2015

NSW Parliament celebrates Aboriginal Land Rights Act

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) today released a new resource to celebrate the achievements of the State's Land Rights network.

"Our Story, Our Rights, Our Future" was launched at a Breakfast Seminar held at NSW Parliament to discuss the successes of Land Rights and its importance for future generations.

Next Wednesday marks the 32 years since the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 was passed by the NSW Parliament.

NSWALC Chair Craig Cromelin said the Breakfast Seminar was an important opportunity to remind people of how far the Land Rights network had come in building an economic base for Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.

Today, NSWALC is the largest Aboriginal organisation in Australia with more than 23,000 members and the Land Rights network has been self-funded since 1998.

Under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, NSWALC and the network of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils are able to lodge claims over unused and unneeded Crown land.

"Successful claims allow Aboriginal communities to create and manage their own wealth base and also encourage cultural, social and spiritual revitalisation," Mr Cromelin said.

"Under our Economic Development Strategy, NSWALC is investing $16 million over five years to support Local Aboriginal Land Council initiatives to grow our economy and build skills in the network.

"The economic activity generated by the Land Rights network is securing an economic future for Aboriginal people throughout New South Wales and this development is benefting the broader economy now and into the future," Mr Cromelin said.

Some of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act success stories include:

  • Worimi LALC's Sand Dune Adventures - an award-winning, Aboriginal-owned quad bike tour business attracting international and domestic tourists to the Hunter
  • Nambucca Heads LALC's Ocean Green (Gaagal Girrin) Eco Store and Art Gallery - a social enterprise that stocks clothing, beauty products, toys and books. All profits are returned to the local community
  • Orange LALC's Yugaway proposal which will see the development of an $18 million, 110-room motel with the potential to employ 80 people

Mr Cromelin said the Land Rights legislation in New South Wales is the best in Australia and endorsed by former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya as world's best practice.

"The Aboriginal Land Rights Act is progressive legislation that everyone in New South Wales should be proud of. Land is the asset base of our network and is of cultural, economic, social and spiritual significance.

"Our ability to claim and unlock the economic potential of land under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act is the best way we can continue to participate in the economy, generate jobs and build supportive communities in New South Wales," Mr Cromelin said.

To download the Our Story Our Rights Our Future document visit /media/96549/Our%20Storie..._web.pdf. For more success stories in Aboriginal Land Rights visit /media/91160/alc%20success%20stories_web.pdf

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291