Newsletter 53 – Land Rights And Open Green Spaces
- Posted by IanMuttonAdmin
- On February 2, 2023
- land rights, waverton bowling club
Aboriginal Land Rights
- 53,861 Aboriginal Land Rights claims have been made since 1983.
- 38,257 await assessment and determination (by the Minister for Crown Lands).
- Between 1983 and 2021 determinations covering around 163,900 hectares had been made and transferred, with, at start 2022, claims covering 1.12 million hectares remaining to be determined.
There is a register of claims. The register is not available to the public – it’s secret.
In NSW Aboriginal Land Rights claims are made by either the Aboriginal Land Council or any of the 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils (constituted over specific areas to represent Aboriginal communities).
What land can be claimed?
Claimable Crown land is land that:
- Can’t be sold or leased or that has been reserved or dedicated for any purpose, under the Crown Land Management Act 2016
- Can’t be used or occupied or is not needed or likely to be needed either as residential land or for an essential public purpose
A claim can’t be made if the land is subject to:
- An application for native title under the Commonwealth’s Native Title Act or
- Approved by a determination made under the Commonwealth Act.
The right to make a claim is based on legal technicalities.
Crown lands represent about 42% of NSW’s 81 million hectares.
A claim, once made, is determined by a Minister. The Minister’s determination can be appealed to NSW’s Land and Environment Court.
Where a claim is successful, the land is transferred to the Aboriginal organisation that made the claim (freehold without condition).
Council has a decision to make – much of our open green space is Crown land.
North Sydney, compared to all metropolitan Council areas, has one of the lowest ratios of open green to residents – 550 residents per hectare compared, for example, with Kur-ring-gai’s 84 and Mosman’s 176.
A successful land claim has been made for the Waverton Bowling Club.
Council on all these matters needs to set the standard for transparency – what approach should Council take:
- facilitate the making and processing of aboriginal land claims; or
- develop and implement strategies intended to prevent open green space being the subject of successful claims – (i.e. one that would have prevented the loss of the Waverton Bowling Club land)?
Let me know what you think.