15 October 2016
NSWALC welcomes bipartisan approach to Aboriginal Land Rights
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has welcomed the commitment by both sides of politics to progress the return of Me-mel or Goat Island to Aboriginal people.
Today, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced steps to transfer management and ownership of Me-mel to Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and on Monday NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See will attend a Shadow Cabinet meeting on the island where the Opposition will confirm its commitment to return the land.
Cr Ah-See said it was encouraging to see a bipartisan approach to Land Rights in NSW.
"The Government and Opposition understand the benefits of working in partnership with the Land Rights network in New South Wales and there are many opportunities to deepen this relationship throughout the State," he said.
Cr Ah-See said legislation that made the transfer of land to Aboriginal people possible - the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 - was visionary and had empowered Aboriginal people over the past three decades.
"The Land Rights Act recognises that land is at the heart of our people culturally, economically and spiritually. The legislation provides for the return of culturally-significant and economically-viable land to Aboriginal people.
"Successful land claims have allowed Aboriginal people to promote and share culture, create jobs and contribute to building the New South Wales economy.
"In many instances, Local Aboriginal Land Councils are key players in local economies and are engaged in a range of activities including tourism, property development, agriculture and small business.
"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council will continue to work with all sides of politics to ensure Aboriginal people have the best possible opportunities to make their contribution to the cultural and economic life of New South Wales."
Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291