First Darkinjung proposal ready for assessment

The Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council has submitted its first rezoning proposal for independent review under the NSW Government’s new planning framework to provide indigenous people with greater powers to determine the use of their land.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes was in Gosford today to announce a proposal to rezone land at Somersby that will be the first to be independently assessed under the Darkinjung Delivery Framework, which was introduced in February.

“This is an historic step and part of a suite of reforms introduced by the NSW Government to help Aboriginal communities achieve better outcomes from their land,” Mr Stokes said.

“We want to unlock opportunities for local Aboriginal Land Councils to help them deliver economic and community benefits from their lands for future generations.”

Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the NSW Government has worked with Darkinjung and the Central Coast Council to create a development plan and has provided guidance throughout the creation of the proposal.

“With 3700 hectares, Darkinjung is the largest non-Government landowner on the Central Coast, so the Framework has the potential to not just benefit the Darkinjung people, but to positively impact the entire region for decades,” Mr Crouch said.

“The proposal, which aims to rezone land to conserve more than 100 hectares of environmental land and provide approximately 20 hectares of land for rural homes, will now be reviewed by an independent planning panel.”

Darkinjung Chairperson Matthew West praised the measures that are “providing the right structure” to help the Land Council achieve its goals.

“The Delivery Framework is working to help realise Darkinjung’s aspirations to enrich the Central Coast community by building homes, creating jobs and securing education and training opportunities,” Mr West said.

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