Media release | 12 November 2021
The NSW Government has today agreed to the largest land transfer in the state’s history that will deliver positive social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits for Orange and the wider Central West.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said more than 390 hectares of land would be transferred from the NSW Government to Orange City Council and Orange Aboriginal Land Council under a historic agreement to provide social, economic and cultural benefits for the city and region.
“This historic agreement is an Australian first that will be a model for future Aboriginal Land Agreements and land transfers, that balances the rights of Aboriginal people and essential community infrastructure like showgrounds and open space,” Mrs Pavey said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Sam Farraway said Orange City Council would have 312 hectares of Crown land transferred to its ownership giving it greater ability to manage parks, sporting facilities and other recreational and cultural activities, as well as generate economic opportunities.
“A further 86 hectares of land will be transferred to Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council to provide economic and cultural benefits for the Aboriginal community,” said Mr Farraway.
“The land transfers will provide a massive boost by opening up a range of new options for the city’s advancement.”
Orange City Council Mayor Reg Kidd said the landmark agreement secures community land for recreation, cuts red tape and makes land available for new employment generating ventures.
“The transfer of the northern nine holes of the former Bloomfield Country Club Golf Course will streamline the process for the development of the $25 million Orange Regional Sports Precinct, which is funded by the NSW Government,” Cr Kidd said.
“Significant economic opportunities will be opened up in South Orange with the transfer of land to assist activation of the Orange Health and Innovation Precinct.”
Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Annette Steele said the land transfers support self-determination by allowing the Aboriginal community to make decisions on economic and social growth and the protection of culturally significant land.
“This land will create business opportunities to increase Aboriginal employment and allow Aboriginal people to participate equally and equitably in the growth of Orange, which will build greater inclusiveness for the whole community,” Ms Steele said.
“It will also allow us to pursue other priorities, like an Aboriginal regional tourism plan, and a program for young girls modelled on the Ngurang-gu Yalbilinya program which is achieving great educational outcomes for young boys in Orange.”