The NSW Government will transfer management and ownership of the Menindee Lakes Caravan Park to the region’s traditional owners in a landmark agreement for the Far West.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands will work with the Barkandji Registered Native Title Body Corporate to progressively transfer the caravan park over the next 12 months.
The Barkandji people were recognised as traditional owners of land in Far Western NSW when a native title determination was made by the Federal Court in 2015.
The transfer of the caravan park to the Barkandji is an important acknowledgement of their traditional links to land that they will be able to manage and benefit from.
For caravan park visitors, there will be no change to the use and enjoyment of the Park in the immediate future.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said Aboriginal land rights and native title interests were key to reconciliation and achieving economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.
“Menindee Lakes Caravan Park underwent $750,000 in improvements earlier this year, including new water supply and septic systems, electrical and plumbing upgrades, building repairs, and new fire safety equipment, rubbish and recycling facilities,” Mrs Pavey said.
“The transfer of the Park to the Barkandji is facilitating additional future improvements including a caretaker’s residence, new camp kitchen and solar power infrastructure.
“Upgrades will help ensure Far West residents and visitors can access improved and safer facilities to support the Caravan Park as a destination for the Menindee Lakes region.”
Barkandji Registered Native Title Group Aboriginal Corporation CEO Derek Hardman welcomed the transfer as a positive step forward.
“We value the respectful, mutually beneficial and continual working relationship with the Minister and Crown Lands to allow for realistic, achievable and meaningful outcomes for community and country,” Mr Hardman said.
“This will create lasting change through capability and capacity building for another great outcome in our journey together.”