NSWALC Submission – NSW Crown Lands Draft State Strategic Plan

NSWALC welcomes the following elements of the draft plan: 

  • • The recognition of Aboriginal Land Rights as key to achieving the social, cultural, economic and environmental objectives of the Crown Land Management Act 2016, and 
  • • The inclusion of a key priority to work with Aboriginal communities to realise the potential of Aboriginal Land Rights. 

We also support the government’s commitment to seeking new ways of working with Aboriginal people that recognise Aboriginal people’s legal rights, wisdom and contribution, including by: 

  • • Making Aboriginal land transfers a priority and seeing them as an opportunity 
  • • Contributing to the ongoing recognition of Native Title rights 
  • • Exploring co-management of land to generate mutual benefits 
  • • Collaborating with Aboriginal groups in each place to improve outcomes 

However, while these proposals are supported, there are opportunities to further improve the draft plan to ensure stronger action and alignment by government to deliver social, cultural and economic outcomes from Aboriginal Land Rights. In particular, working to achieve Aboriginal Land Rights outcomes must be a focus of all Crown land initiatives; not just those under the ‘Working with Aboriginal communities’ priority area. 

Furthermore, while the draft plan focuses on land claims as the key mechanism for returning land to Aboriginal people, the Government must work with NSWALC and LALCs to deliver social, cultural and economic outcomes through the Aboriginal Land Agreement mechanism and a redesigned Land Negotiation Program.