5 August 2022
Update on 160 – 202 George St and NCIE Ltd
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is continuing its efforts to resolve issues around the Commonwealth Government’s Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) decision to close its subsidiary company, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence Limited (NCIE Ltd) on Monday August 8, 2022.
There are two separate elements that are being conflated, the site of 160 – 202 George Street Redfern and the operations of the NCIE Ltd.
NSWALC acquired the property on 30 June 2022. This has been in NSWALCs Strategic Plan supplement since 2019-20. The transfer of this site occurred as scheduled.
As the new owners, NSWALC has provided all tenants the same terms as they had under the prior Government ownership.
The ILSC has responsibility for the operations and staff of the NCIE Ltd that include the management of the fitness and aquatic centre. The operations of NCIE Ltd did not transfer to NSWALC along with the property and was not part of NSWALC’s original scope in the transfer.
This was only considered by NSWALC at the end of April 2022 as means to continue the delivery of the important community service of NCIE Ltd.
Since then, NSWALC has undertaken rigorous due diligence and business continuity planning. Unfortunately, the due diligence uncovered that the NCIE operations (fitness and aquatic centre) needed major ongoing subsidy from the ILSC.
NSWALC Chairperson, Danny Chapman says NCIE Ltd is an important community hub and Council looks forward to positive conversations with the government around funding certainty.
“The community support for NCIE is not surprising, as it has been a central hub for the Redfern Community for over a decade. NSWALC is equally disappointed that we haven’t been able to reach an agreement with the ILSC on funding for the ongoing provision of services. We want this resolved as soon as possible, so we can focus on the next chapter for the site,” he said.
Councillor Chapman says the NSWALC is seeking a continuation of Government funding to subsidise the NCIE Ltd operational shortfall.
“We can’t have the government cost shifting; we need tangible support. We aren’t a government funded organisation, NSWALC relies on a compensatory account to ensure the sustainability of NSWALC and the 120 Local Aboriginal Land Council network.
Council’s focus for the site is for it to continue as a hub for community members that will bring social and cultural value to the Redfern and the broader community. NSWALC will continue to advocate for the rights of our people and look forward to working with the community on the future of the site,” he said.
NSWALC will continue to consult with community organisations and other stakeholders. Pending the outcome with ILSC, NSWALC will open a process to secure a suitable third-party to manage the fitness and aquatic centre on the site. Additionally, we are looking forward to working with the organisations that access the site on a regular basis to ensure continuation of services.
The property at 160 – 202 George St Redfern was acquired by the NSWALC only recently, on June 30, 2022. The business operation NCIE Ltd has been substantially debt-funded by the ILSC for many years and continues to be a subsidiary of ILSC. The NSWALC is an independent self-funded organisation and is unable to cover NCIE Ltd’s losses.