Support is available for those affected by the NSW floods. Resources and information can be found at the NSW Flood Assistance and Resources page.

Solution Brokerage

Solution Brokerage is an initiative of OCHRE, the NSW Government’s community-focused plan for Aboriginal affairs.

Under the Premier’s memorandum 2015-02 – Solution Brokerage, the Head of Aboriginal Affairs has the power to declare an issue to be one for Solution Brokerage. Once an issue has been declared, an Officer In Charge is appointed to manage the development and implementation of a response plan within six months.

Under Solution Brokerage, response plans can be tailored to match the complexity and scale of an issue. Responses are graded in three tiers. A Tier One response is for local issues, specific to a community; Tier Two is for more complex local or regional issues, and Tier Three for major policy reform, including state-wide issues.

Premier’s Memorandum

The Premier’s memorandum empowers Aboriginal Affairs to coordinate Solution Brokerage across government and requires NSW Government agencies to work flexibly with Aboriginal Affairs to implement Solution Brokerage response plans.

The Premier’s memorandum is available here The Premier’s memorandum is available here

For an issue to be declared a Solution Brokerage issue, it must:

  • Be a current issue
  • Require several agencies to be engaged
  • Have the potential to bring about significant benefit or avoid significant harm
  • Be capable of a sustainable solution which can be implemented within six months
  • Be managed within existing agency resources

Key documents

The Solution Brokerage policy and operational framework sets out the whole-of-government operational and accountability arrangements for the delivery of Solution Brokerage. The framework provides context and defines what solution brokerage is, how it will operate and the requirement of NSW government agencies to actively participate.

Policy & Operational Framework

Fact Sheet on Solution Brokerage

FAQs about Solution Brokerage

Diagram explaining the process

About the Eden Accord

Issues declared under Solution Brokerage

Eden Solution Brokerage

Lead agency: Aboriginal Affairs

Purpose: To resolve the long-standing issues for the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) from the 1999 Eden Regional Forest Agreement including in relation to the management of public land, economic development opportunities and access to conservation lands for cultural purposes.

Status: Complete.

About the Accord About the Accord      View the Accord View the Accord      View the Report View the Report

Aboriginal Community Land and Infrastructure Project (ACLIP)

Lead agency: Department of Planning and Environment.

Purpose: To remove barriers in the planning system to improve the provision and ongoing management of municipal services in 59 Aboriginal communities, mainly located in remote and regional areas of the state. The project is exploring management and funding options to ensure that Aboriginal communities enjoy the same levels of services that exist elsewhere in NSW. ACLIP is also identifying ways to ensure the planning system better recognises the economic potential of land owned by local Aboriginal land councils. A response plan is expected shortly from the department.

Status: The response plan is now being prepared.

Integrated early childhood model for the Murdi Paaki

Lead agencies: Department of Education (Early childhood) and Aboriginal Affairs

Purpose: To develop an integrated and sustainable early childhood service delivery model for the Murdi Paaki region.

Status: Delayed.

Building community resilience in Bowraville

Lead agency: Department of Planning and Environment

Purpose: To respond to the complex needs of the Bowraville community following the murders of three Aboriginal children. This project aims to resolve a broad range of issues identified through community consultation in relation to service accessibility, community transport, economic opportunity, anti-social behaviour and isolation for Aboriginal people living in the Aboriginal mission outside Bowraville.

Status: A response plan is now being prepared following extensive consultation with the Bowraville community.

Discrete Aboriginal Communities - Community Infrastructure

Up to 6,000 Aboriginal people live in 61 former missions and reserves (called discrete Aboriginal communities) across NSW. 

These former missions and reserves, owned by Local Aboriginal Land Councils, have historically had poor quality infrastructure and municipal services at the time of transfer to Land Councils. 

Unlike other local communities in the State, Local Aboriginal Land Councils are responsible for municipal services and community infrastructure within these 61 discrete Aboriginal communities they own.

At the present time the standard of municipal services available is inconsistent and generally poor as Local Government are not legally required to provide these services to discrete Aboriginal communities as they are deemed “private property”.

The services that Local Aboriginal Land Councils are responsible for include water, sewerage, roads, footpaths, stormwater, street lighting and power, telecommunications, waste collection and common area management such as parks and playgrounds and Emergency Management.

Imposing the onerous responsibility on Local Aboriginal Land Councils without the access to funding that Local Government receive creates inequities for the Aboriginal people living in these communities and a burden on Land Councils that they cannot meet.

The following programs aim to resolve these issues for Aboriginal communities:

Water and Sewerage Program

The NSW Government is supporting the capital upgrade and operation, maintenance and monitoring of the water and sewerage systems in eligible Aboriginal communities to improve services.

In December 2008 the NSW Government and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) agreed to a funding partnership for these essential services in eligible discrete Aboriginal communities – former missions and reserves.

Under the agreement, the NSWALC pays for 25% ($1.050) of the Operation and Maintenance costs and the NSW Government pays for 75% of these costs plus all program management and capital costs. This joint funding will total approximately $200 million over 25 years.

A total of $89.1 million has been spent from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2022 with a further $8.58 million forecast to be spent in 2022-23. 

While Aboriginal Affairs is the lead agency, the Department of Planning and Environment Water is responsible for managing the water and sewerage service delivery. NSW Health also plays an important role by monitoring health standards for water and sewerage systems in the communities involved.

The program ensures infrastructure and maintenance agreements are in place to operate, maintain and monitor the water and sewerage systems in eligible discrete Aboriginal communities.

Water and sewerage management plans are in place for each community and identify potential risks to the water supply and sewerage systems, leading to better management and fewer breakdowns.  The water supply in eligible communities is tested in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Find out more about the Water and Sewerage program here

Roads to Home Program

In 2017 Aboriginal Affairs declared a State Solution Brokerage known as ACLIP.  

This led to the development of the “Roads to Home Program” a joint Department of Planning and Environment and Aboriginal Affairs proposal to government. The proposal was successful and the DPE Roads to Home team have been delivering Roads to Home to communities since 2019/20 growing from 10 communities to 34 today.

The Program is designed to provide improved community infrastructure and municipal services for discrete Aboriginal communities across NSW.

The NSW Government first committed $54.8 million to the Program in 2019-20 over four years, the program expanded in 2020/21 with $20 million in stimulus funding and a further $34.1 million in 2021/22, which enabled a total of 34 communities across the State to be part of the program.

With the addition of $32 million in new funding in the 2022/23 budget the total committed funding to the Roads to Home Program is now $140.9 million.

Three Discrete Aboriginal Communities have completed the Roads to Home project, Bowraville, Gulargambone Top (pictured) and Cabarita.

Check out the Roads to Home website to see the great work of the team and communities. 

Government is committed to ensure the delivery of outcomes to the existing 34 communities and the expansion of the program to the remaining Discrete Aboriginal Communities that desperately need this program.

Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program

The Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program commenced in 2019 as a joint 12-month program supported by the EPA, NSWHealth Aboriginal Environment Health Unit and Aboriginal Affairs.  The Program was then funded and delivered for a further 4 years by the EPA.

The Program provides Grant Funding to Local Aboriginal Land Council’s to improve the waste management in Discrete Aboriginal Communities in NSW.  Over 32 communities have received funding under the program.  Resulting in community clean up, bulky waste removal and ensuring a weekly local government service is provided. 

Check out the video produced by the Mulli Mulli community as part of their Waste Project.

Some communities still sit outside the Local Government waste service provision due to remoteness and AA continues to work with the EPA and others on finding a long-term solution for these communities.

For more information check out the EPAs website

Aboriginal Community Emergency Management Pilot Project

Aboriginal people were disproportionally impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires and the 2021/22 floods. These events highlighted that many of the 61 discrete Aboriginal communities in NSW are at high risk from fire, floods, and natural disasters.

In 2019 Aboriginal Affairs and Resilience NSW partnered to deliver an Aboriginal Communities Emergency Management Pilot to improve preparedness and response to disasters.

The project is funded by Resilience NSW and delivered by AANSW. The Project has four key objectives:

  • Four to five Discrete Aboriginal Communities and local emergency management agencies will be better prepared to respond and recover from emergencies and disasters
  • Identify and strengthen local partnerships that contribute to sustainable emergency management in the four DACs
  • Aboriginal Lore, including Caring for country knowledge and practices and existing emergency and disaster management practices are equally valued, championed and integrated in the preparation, response and recovery from disasters
  • Inform and influence future emergency management on DACs through Aboriginal leadership, evidence-based research and co-design.

Discrete Aboriginal communities are engaged in the project to improve their preparedness and recovery and build stronger relationships with emergency management stakeholders.

Two communities Baryulgil and Malabugilmah have been participating in the project for 2 years and won the 2021 Get Ready Community Award for their amazing work.

It is a well-deserved award, the communities have:

  • Participated in cultural burns to reduce the fire load around their communities and development of community protection plans
  • Completed mitigation and infrastructure works in both communities
  • Signed up 7 local Aboriginal people and 8 local neighbours to be trained as RFS volunteers
  • Participated in the Local Emergency Management Committee and Bushfire Management Committee to represent their community’s needs; and
  • In coordination with the RFS, a Neighbourhood Safer Place is in progress for approval at Malabugilmah.
  • Since 2019 Aboriginal Affairs has facilitated 19 face to face workshops attended by over 115 community members and 28 emergency management stakeholders.
  • Developed a Seasonal Calendar that links the changes in the environment to the emergency management cycle, the first of its kind.

Karuah and Nulla communities joined the project more recently in 2021 and 2022.

The Project funds a Community Engagement Advisor who works with the community and government to identify issues and community solutions incorporating Aboriginal lore and traditional Aboriginal land management into preparing for and responding to disasters.

The project outcomes demonstrate the importance of co-design and community led planning to improve disaster resilience. Sustainable solutions to disaster resilience for all 61 discrete Aboriginal communities will require a state-wide program to be supported by government.

AANSW has engaged Bhiamie Williamson an Aboriginal Evaluator to evaluate the pilot, identifying successes and failures to determine if the pilot has merit to expand to a larger program. 

AANSW and Resilience NSW are committed to ensuring Discrete Aboriginal Communities have access to a program that support the community planning and preparedness for disasters.

Want to know more?

Should you have questions relating to Solution Brokerage please forward your query to:

Phone: 1800 019 998

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