The Riverina Aboriginal community at Brungle will partner with the NSW Government on a range of civil infrastructure improvements to support social, economic and employment benefits for the area.
Minister for Planning and Homes Anthony Roberts said work has started on $2.1 million in upgrades under the Roads to Home program to lay new foundations for advancement in the community.
“Roads to Home is a true grassroots program that works alongside Aboriginal communities to improve quality of life and economic opportunities by installing vital infrastructure such as roads, curbing, guttering and drainage,” Mr Roberts said.
“These investments literally pave the way for further improvements and better access for services like rubbish collection, mail deliveries, and community transport, while generating employment and training opportunities for local Aboriginal people.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said this investment will provide access to critical infrastructure and services for Aboriginal communities across NSW.
“Roads to Home is empowering communities by working alongside local Aboriginal Land Councils in NSW to improve infrastructure and promote economic opportunities,” Mr Franklin said.
Planned upgrades for Brungle to Snowy Valleys Council subdivision requirements include resealing roads, driveways through to fence lines, and installation of curbing, guttering and stormwater drainage, street lighting and communications wiring.
Brungle-Tumut Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Sue Bulger said the land council would proudly manage the upgrades with Tumut company Allspec & Partners, and it was hoped up to 30 Aboriginal people will get TAFE training through the project.
“These will be wonderful improvements for the reserve which was first set up in the 1890s, so things look good for the future and for more housing,” Ms Bulger said.
“We have about 10 families now at Brungle. The community has its own water filtration and sewerage systems, and the Brungle Public School which was down to 2 students at one time now has 13 students as more younger families attend.”
To date, the NSW Government has committed $141 million to upgrade 34 Aboriginal communities under the Roads to Home program, which has employed 21 Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers across the state, and is led by an Aboriginal team.
Department of Planning and Environment Executive Director-Aboriginal Strategy and Outcomes Mark DeWeerd said Roads to Home empowered Aboriginal communities.
“As well as better infrastructure, the program trains and employs Aboriginal people through partnerships with contractors, TAFE NSW and registered training organisations,” Mr DeWeerd said.