Softly, softly for Koori land plans

By UTE SCHULENBERG

LOCAL Aboriginal Land Council coordinator Michael Rodgers remains confident something good can happen on land north of Mylestom owned by the land council.

Although he realises it will take some time, he is enthusiastic about a concept to create a tourism and retirement facility on the land.

"There would be benefits for everyone in something like this, plus it has never been tried before - it is pretty exciting," Mr Rodgers said.

He and the developers, the Stevens Group from the Central Coast, met with Bellingen Shire Council two weeks ago to discuss the idea.

Afterwards the mayor, Cr Mark Troy, said no firm decisions had been made.

"The land is not currently zoned for such a purpose," Cr Troy said. "Any rezoning of the land would require extensive consultation prior to any development eventuating."

He said consultation would occur firstly, as part of the Growth Management Strategy and secondly, as part of the statutory process required by the NSW Department of Planning for any rezoning of land.

"The council will consider any submissions presented by the land council, as it does for any landowner in the shire," he said.

Mr Rodgers said developing the land would provide vital funds for low-cost housing desperately needed by Aboriginal communities in area.

"We'd love to move more quickly but it really is only in the preliminary stages and we just have to go along with the process.



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