Crown Lands

Wallaga Lake paves its way with Roads to Home

The South Coast Aboriginal community at Wallaga Lake 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 $2.19 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.

Wallaga Lake paves its way with Roads to Home
Road work underway at Wallaga Lake.

“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 Wallaga Lake under the Roads to Home program include upgrades and repairs to roads, curb and guttering and installation of street lighting. A fire trail road is being investigated for evacuations, and a potential bus bay turnout.

Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Dianne McVeity said the land council would proudly manage the upgrades with R And C Civil and other subcontractors, with local Aboriginal people getting skills and work on the project.

“The Wallaga Lake community was established about 1952 and today has about 28 houses with between 100 to 150 residents in extended families,” Ms McVeity said.

“The road upgrades will be great and street lighting welcome as there is currently no lighting and the project will support Aboriginal people with work and skills training.”

To date, the NSW Government has committed $141 million to upgrade 34 Aboriginal communities under Roads to Home, 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.

Wallaga Lake paves its way with Roads to Home
Smoking ceremony at Wallaga Lake.