Crown Lands

Former police residence transferred to Aboriginal community

 

Media release | 1 February 2022

The NSW Government has presented the land title to a former Police residence to Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council following an Aboriginal land claim.

Crown Lands Executive Director of Aboriginal Land Strategy, Michael Ramalli, said the transfer of the John Street property was a good outcome for the Aboriginal and wider community.

“The NSW Government is committed to the Aboriginal Land Rights process to support economic and social outcomes for Indigenous communities,” Mr Ramalli said.

“The former Police residence in John Street, Coonabarabran was originally reserved for Police purposes in 1891 but had been vacant for a number of years.”

“The transfer of the property will allow it to be put to productive use for the benefit of the Aboriginal and wider community.”

Aboriginal land claims are a statutory right under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 to help compensate for historic dispossession of land.

Crown land can be claimed by Local Aboriginal Land Councils if it meets statutory criteria, including if it is not being lawfully used or occupied.

The land claim was lodged by Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council and part approved over a 1,124 square metre block containing the former 3-bedroom Police residence and a garage. The site was reserved for Police purposes in 1891.

The Department of Planning and Environment – Crown Lands has presented the Certificate of Title and keys to the property to members of the Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council Board.

Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Monique Mozett said the transfer of the land was a proud moment.

“It’s fantastic to have this land returned to the Aboriginal community, all land that is returned is extremely important,” Ms Mozett said.

“We have exciting things planned for the site to benefit the entire community, not just Indigenous residents, which we will reveal when we can, and we will have a community opening day when it happens.”

The NSW Government has ramped up efforts to deliver more Aboriginal outcomes by boosting resources and innovative processes including:

  • Expanding the Crown Lands’ land claims team;
  • Determining over 1,970 claims in the last two financial years and granting 6,500 hectares of land;
  • Working with Aboriginal Land Councils to prioritise land claims that have the most social, economic, cultural or spiritual significance.
  • Negotiating Aboriginal Land Agreements, such as at Orange where 86 hectares of land is being transferred to the ownership of the Aboriginal community.
  • Allocating $9.85 million to support native title and land claims outcomes.
  • Developing an e-Planning portal to provide Aboriginal Land Councils with up-to-date information on the status of their claims and landholdings.
People standing outside Coonabaraban Police station
L to R - Crown Lands officer Shane Smith hands over the Certificate of Title to Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council Board members Irene Nixon, Margaret Leslie, Beryl Dowd and Casey Dowd.