Koori future in the land

By CRAIG McTEAR

MICHAEL Rodgers says it's all about securing the future for Coffs Harbour's Aboriginal community.

The Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council co-ordinator is excited about plans to develop 12 land parcels owned by the land council in the immediate local government area.

The land council has agreed to work with the Sydney-based company Mymurra Pty Ltd which has been shortlisted to develop some of those parcels.

"We envisage that things such as retirement villages and housing for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people would be created on some of the land we own," Mr Rodgers said.

"The developers have to come back to us with concepts for what could go on the land.

"We'll then have a land council members' meeting and see if they're happy with what's put on the table.

"There are a couple of parcels of land we'd like to negotiate to sell, but for the most part, the land will remain in the control of the land council.

"The money we make from proposed developments will be regenerated back into the local Aboriginal community for things such as housing and employment.

"We want to create all types of employment for the young ones coming through and establish a register of people looking for work.

"We want to be self-sustaining and secure our future.

"We would encourage any developers in Coffs Harbour to consult with us in identifying and protecting Aboriginal culture, sites and objects which may be found in the local government area."

- The land council this year lodged land claims over 40 pieces of vacant crown land and remains confident the State Government will recognise 90 per cent of those.

"But we're still waiting on the Government to look at the 60 outstanding land claims we've had since 1983, when the Land Rights Act first came in," Mr Rodgers said.

"We can only make claims on that land which is vacant crown land."



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