17 April, 2014
Extension of time for the approval of social housing schemes
All Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) have been previously advised that the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (the ALRA) requires that any LALC wishing to continue to operate its social housing scheme must obtain the approval of NSWALC by 30 June 2014.
The Office of Aboriginal Affairs has now advised that it intends to recommend to the NSW Government a further extension and the proposed deadline is to be 30 June 2015.
The amendment to the ALRA creating the new deadline is yet to be passed by the NSW Parliament.
It is expected to be passed shortly however no definitive date has been given.
Should this not occur by 30 June 2014 all LALCs that have yet to finalise their social housing arrangements (by either head leasing or undergoing the SHAPE assessment process) should be reassured that NSWALC will not be acting on this specific "breach" of the ALRA.
This is due to the fact that the parliamentary process is not in the hands of NSWALC or the LALCs concerned.
However LALCs in this position should note that given the broader current review of the ALRA that this is likely to be the last time that the deadline for making the social housing arrangements (as specified in clause 45 of schedule 4 of the ALRA) will be extended.
Should there be a need for further information please contact your Zone Office in the first instance
Acting Chief Executive Officer