Consultations on Aboriginal Joint Management Model for National Parks

5 July 2022

Consultations on Aboriginal Joint Management Model for National Parks

The NSW Government has announced it will begin consultations on developing a proposed new model for Aboriginal joint management of NSW National Parks.

There are currently a range of joint management arrangements and legal rights[i] in place that Aboriginal communities across NSW have worked hard over decades to secure. The NSW Government is proposing to replace these with a new model.

The Government proposal does not commit to transfer title of National Parks to Aboriginal communities.

Instead, it commits to:

  • developing a model to provide for the transfer of title (or co-ownership) to potentially all national parks over the next 15 to 20 years to Aboriginal people,
  • Such arrangements will be subject to a long-term lease at nominal rent, back to the NSW Government for the land to be managed as a national park.

Additionally, the government intend to discuss establishing a process to identify who should hold title.

There are significant issues and opportunities that need to be collectively worked through to ensure any future model advances the rights and interests of Aboriginal communities.

NSWALC will advocate to ensure that any proposals are designed and delivered in partnership with the Land Rights Network and Aboriginal communities, enshrine self-determination, and meets the needs of the Network and Aboriginal communities.

NSWALC understands:

  • current joint management arrangements will remain in place while a new model is being considered, and
  • The NSW Government will continue (grandfather) existing statutory lease back arrangements and honour commitments under existing Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

Consultations

The Government says the consultation process is expected to take around 18 months.

NSWALC understands that consultations will include targeted regional workshops and broad public consultation, including a request for feedback on a discussion paper and proposed model.

NSWALC encourages LALCs to have their say in this important discussion.

At this stage, government advise there will be 3 broad phases of consultation:

  • Stage 1 will focus on understanding aspirations and issues
  • Stage 2 will invite comment on a draft model developed, based on feedback from Stage 1
  • Stage 3 will refine a proposed model following Stage 2 and be released for public comment.

NSWALC will provide the Network with further advice and details.

You can read more about the consultations and access the discussion paper at the link below.

Aboriginal joint management consultation

If you have questions, please contact your NSWALC Councillor or NSWALC Strategy and Policy Unit on policy@alc.org.au.


[i] These include Part 4A ownership & leaseback arrangements under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), and Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs).