Look, learn and listen: NSWALC

Look, Learn & Listen: NSWALC

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF NSWALC CHAIRMAN, CRAIG CROMELIN

November 29, 2013

The largest democratically elected Aboriginal peak in the country has welcomed the Prime Minster's commitment to open a new dialogue with Aboriginal people.

Following the announcement over the weekend of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council, the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has expressed its willingness to participate in open, frank and fearless discussion on Aboriginal Affairs and the economic development of Aboriginal communities.

Chairman Craig Cromelin said the Prime Minister and his advisors should look no further than the well-worn NSW land rights system for inspiration and guidance.

"In 2013 we're celebrating 30 years of Aboriginal land rights across this state," he said.

"It's a staggering achievement and along that path we've had many hard fought gains.

"We've been advocating for the rights of Aboriginal peoples now for three decades and we've built a proven track record of working cooperatively with successive governments.

"The land rights network has worked tirelessly toward the goal of economic independence for our communities here in NSW and we trust any new direction affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be developed in close andtransparent consultation.

"Our mission at NSWALC is to act in the best interests of Aboriginal people in this state, and we will always deliver on this whoever forms the government of the day."

Chairman Cromelin applauded the advisory council's focus on economic sustainability within Aboriginal communities across the country.

"This is precisely what we've championed for since our inception in 1983. To shake the chains of government dependency, Aboriginal people must have economic independence and a sustainable future free from interference.

"NSWALC's worked to achieve that end through land acquisition as compensation and more recently via the exploration of opportunities within the resource sector," Mr Cromelin said.

"NSWALC is open to meet with whom ever, and past or present relationships are of irrelevance. Personal feelings will not be a deciding factor, however NSWALCs professionalism will be seen as leading our network down the pathways to opportunities, and forging relationships, rather than burning or tearing down bridges.

"Aboriginal people must take their place in the real economy - and through genuine collaboration, perhaps we can work to finally achieve that goal."