Crown Lands

Land claim approved in Awaba

Media Release | 13 September 2022

A block of land big enough for three houses in Awaba outside Lake Macquarie will be returned to the local Aboriginal community after the NSW Government granted an Aboriginal land claim to Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Crown Lands Executive Director of Aboriginal Land Strategy Michael Ramalli said the 2,000 square metre lot on the corner of Gosford Street and Ourimbah Street was 500 metres from Awaba railway station.

“This undeveloped block of land adjoins houses in the middle of Awaba and it’s also not far from bushland,” Mr Ramalli said.

“It should benefit the local Aboriginal community and it will be up to them to determine the most appropriate use of the land.”

Acting Chief Executive Officer of Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council Krystal Saunders said the community will be “stoked” to hear the land claim was approved.

“We are looking at developing housing in Awaba for the Aboriginal community, aged care or a community centre, so these are all things we will discuss,” Ms Saunders said.

“It could be good to connect with country. We could hold cultural activities for kids and go to the surrounding bushland to teach about bush tucker and bush tools. It’s always better to teach people on Country than going to a classroom.”

Under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, Aboriginal land claims on Crown land are assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment – Crown Lands against statutory criteria, including whether the land is lawfully used or occupied.

If the land is found to be claimable it is returned to the Aboriginal land council as freehold land.

Mr Ramalli said the NSW Government was working to accelerate the processing of more Aboriginal land claims.

“The returning of land to Aboriginal land councils via the land claims process supports economic, social and cultural outcomes for Aboriginal communities,” Mr Ramalli said.

Crown Lands Executive Director of Aboriginal Land Strategy Michael Ramalli
Crown Lands Executive Director of Aboriginal Land Strategy Michael Ramalli

 

Block of land at Awaba
Block of land at Awaba