The NSW Government is calling for interested local governments and local Aboriginal Land Councils to join the next phase of the Land Negotiation Program.
Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said the NSW Government was looking to enter into additional voluntary negotiations following introduction of the program last year.
“These negotiations mean Aboriginal Land Councils and local governments can sit down with the NSW Government and consider land claims in a more efficient and strategic way,” Mr Toole said.
“These negotiations are intended to provide more certainty around land that holds cultural, spiritual or economic significance to indigenous communities.
“There will be an opportunity for local indigenous communities and local governments to have a direct say in the management of land that is not already classified as State-significant.”
The Expressions of Interest phase was launched at Parliament House today, where Mr Toole joined representatives of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Local Government NSW and other stakeholders.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said it’s important Local Aboriginal land councils are closely involved so land significant to their communities can be considered.
“The NSW Government is working with Aboriginal communities across the state to ensure everything we do is done in partnership with the communities.
“In NAIDOC Week, as we celebrate the history and culture of indigenous communities, we recognise indigenous peoples’ strong spiritual connection to land,” Mrs Mitchell said.
Mr Toole said the Land Negotiation Program started in 2016 as a pilot, commencing in four local government areas – Tweed, Tamworth, Federation and Northern Beaches councils.
“We want to hear from other local governments and Aboriginal land councils interested in taking part in this voluntary program, which aims to deliver better management of Crown land for the benefit of the entire community,” Mr Toole said.
EOIs close 5pm Friday 18th August 2017.