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Ngaru Village paves the way forward with Roads to Home

22 May 2024

The NSW Government is partnering with the Aboriginal community at Ngaru Village at Yamba on $6.3 million in infrastructure upgrades to provide social, economic and employment benefits for the area.

The Roads to Home program in the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) is funding the work being led by Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council to upgrade the village, with work underway.

A subdivision will create 34 separate lots and there will be upgrades to roads, walking paths, cycleways, driveways, and stormwater drainage, sewerage, water supply, electrical and NBN infrastructure, as well as landscaping including planting of street trees.

Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said:

“Roads to Home is a grassroots program that empowers Aboriginal communities to make decisions about infrastructure upgrades to enhance quality of life and improve access to services, including waste collection, postal delivery, emergency access and community transport.

“Significant benefits can be created for communities when they have fit-for-purpose infrastructure, and this project will support social, employment and training benefits for local Aboriginal residents.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:

“Roads to Home is a wonderful example of ensuring Aboriginal people and communities are in the driver’s seat when it comes to making decisions that impact their lives. The community of Ngaru Village at Yamba has identified issues that, when resolved, will provide real benefits to the community’s quality of life.

“The program’s focus on creating training and job opportunities will also have an important, long-lasting impact on the community of Ngaru Village, which is essential as we work towards closing the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.”

Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council Chair Amanda Laurie said:

“The Roads to Home upgrades to Ngaru Village will make a big difference for the community and are well overdue. Currently we have no street lighting forcing residents to use their mobile phone lights to help guide them at night.

“The infrastructure upgrades will better support community access, health, safety and amenity at the village. We have about eight local people who are getting civil training and work opportunities from the project.

“We will also be reducing traffic speed limits in the village to below 50 kilometres per hour, and are separately upgrading the community playground.”