23 December 2022
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council thanks the Land Rights Network for another successful year, as we worked together to support and uplift our communities across a challenging 2022.
The NSWALC would like to reflect on some achievements across the year, where we continued our advocacy for the interests and rights of Aboriginal people in NSW; supported the Network in strengthening partnerships and connecting with economic, business and employment opportunities; and continued our work as a lead organisation in numerous reforms and implementing the National Agreement on Closing the Gap in NSW.
RETURN OF SIGNIFICANT AND VALUABLE LANDS
The Tweed Byron LALC/Byron Bay Sandhills Agreement
Plans for a new skatepark and recreation precinct in Byron Bay were agreed to, following collaboration between Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council under the Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW), NSWALC, Arakwal Corporation under the Native Title Act 1992 (Cth), Department of Planning and Environment Crown Lands and Byron Shire Council.
The Merrimans LALC/Cooma Agreement
A landmark agreement between the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council and the NSW Government, which will see up to new 140 homes built on land between the Monaro Highway and Polo Flat Road.
Yetta Dhinnakkal transfer to Brewarrina LALC
The large parcel of land will be used for primary industry and agricultural enterprises, and employment and education opportunities.
NSWALC’s acquisition of 160 George Street Redfern
NSWALC remains committed to ensuring that the property remains an Aboriginal-owned statewide asset that can sustainably deliver increased community outcomes into the future.
NSWALC’s success rate on land claim appeals
NSWALC has maintained its 90%+ success on land claim appeals, these includes wins for:
A significant victory in 2022 was securing the old Waverton Bowling Club site in Sydney, following NSWALC’s appeal in the Land and Environment Court. The site will be transferred to the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2022
NSWALC played a major role in the negotiation, drafting and enactment of beneficial reforms of the Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2022.
Natural Disaster assistance
NSWALC provided on-call assistance to the Network during the significant flooding events across NSW in 2022. We continue to collaborate and share critical information across the Network and with the NSW Government to ensure they’re supporting communities in their emergency response.
Aboriginal Community Housing Investment Fund (ACHIF)
The ACHIF program continued to roll out across 17 LALC communities around NSW, providing much needed repairs and maintenance funding to LALC housing.
Closing the Gap
As a member of the NSW CAPO and holder of the CAPO Secretariat, NSWALC had a major role in negotiations for the NSW Closing the Gap (CTG) Implementation Plan 2022-24.
The NSW Government committed to a significant budget to fund new initiatives to meet the Priority Reforms and Socio-Economic Targets. This included $189.6 million over four years for initiatives, including $159.6m for initiatives co-developed with the NSW CAPO.
These include health, education, justice, land, investment in Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, and $30 million for Community and Place Based Grants.
We also partnered with our CAPO colleagues to speak with mob in consultations across the state, and continued to raise the importance of how Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations can, and must, lead this change.
Yarpa continued to maintain a solid membership base of over 1200 members and has secured an additional two years’ funding from the National Indigenous Australians Agency. Yarpa held its signature “Meet the Buyer” event in 2022, with 27 buyers attending and 72 Aboriginal businesses showcased. This was a significant increase on 2021 attendees of both buyers and Aboriginal businesses.
The NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout
The Koori Knockout held in Nowra and hosted by the South Coast Black Cockatoos was a special event, being the first KO held since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
NSWALC was again a major event sponsor and hosted a large stall honouring the legacy of our Land Rights Warriors, which also functioned as a hub for mob to get together. We thank all the community members who came to yarn, and help identify people in the early Land Rights photos.
The NSWALC Councillors thank the Network for your continued commitment to your communities and we look forward to a positive and productive 2023 together. NSWALC offices will close on 23 December 2022 and reopen on 9 January 2023.