19 July, 2010
SPEEDING UP THE LAND CLAIMS PROCESS: STAGE 2
July 19, 2010
On June 8 this year, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) learnt of the state government's intention to deliver around $5.9 million dollars, 'towards the processing of Aboriginal land claims in 2010-11.'
This information was sent to NSW media outlets in the form of a press release on June 8, 2010.
The funding announcement included a total of $3 million of additional funding to resolve outstanding claims.
Minister Kelly has said the new funding "will enable more resources to be directed towards the investigation and determination of land claims, speeding up the process and reducing the current backlog."
Of course, this funding has the potential to improve outcomes for the land rights network, but only if it's allocated wisely and in the interests of the land rights movement and NSW Aboriginal residents.
As at 30 June 2010 there were over 18,000 outstanding land claims. Some of the claims are decades old. It is clear that the current process is not working in the interests of Land rights and Aboriginal economic development.
While NSWALC welcomes the additional funding, it is concerned that money alone will not fix a bad process. There has to be a better way to accelerate the process.
If the NSW government is genuine about improving the land claims process, it is essential that it works productively and in cooperation with NSWALC to improve the land claims process and ensure the best outcome for NSW Aboriginal residents.
As it stands, the NSW government and the Lands and Property Management Authority (LMPA) have NOT approached NSWALC regarding its views on how the process could be improved.
NSWALC is calling on the Keneally government to engage with NSWALC and work towards allocating this extra funding using the most effective and industrious methods available to both parties. Aboriginal residents of NSW are entitled to fair and timely decisions from government, just like other citizens.
Put simply, such a new working relationship has to take place if the current backlog of more than 18,000 un-determined land claims is to be shifted in any way shape or form.
This is where the LALCs and their members come into play.
WHAT TO DO
Fact sheets and a template letter can be found at the following web address:
The fact sheets are designed to give LALCs background information regarding the current land rights climate the organisation is working in, and the letter is intended to be sent on to your Local Member of Parliament (a list of the Local Member for your region can be found at : https://alc.org.au/issues/land-claims-campaign-2010.aspx)
LALC's are encouraged to add their letter head to the document, sign it, and send VIA POST to their Member's office.
The more letters, the louder our united voice, and the better the outcome for Aboriginal people in this great state.
CONTACT CHRIS MUNRO AT NSWALC MEDIA & MARKETING: 0438 760 242