Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, today announced a suite of pioneering planning measures to help the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council better utilise its land.
The Darkinjung Delivery Framework (Framework) brings greater self-determination for the Darkinjung community and encourages better social and economic results from its land.
The Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council (Darkinjung) is one of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) in NSW established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (ALR) Act 1983.
The Darkinjung region covers all of the Central Coast, stretching from the Hawkesbury River in the South to Catherine Hill Bay in the north, the Pacific Ocean to the East to the Watagan Mountains to the West.
The measures align the planning system more sympathetically with the ALR Act, stimulating improved governance, empowerment, strategic planning and more efficient land use.
Mr Roberts released the package to implement the Framework in Gosford with Darkinjung leaders.
The package includes a State Environmental Planning Policy (Aboriginal Land) 2019 (SEPP), a Ministerial Direction, an Interim Darkinjung Development Delivery Plan, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining how the NSW Government and Darkinjung will work together.
“It is a very proud moment to stand here with the Darkinjung people and deliver these inventive measures that will help benefit their communities and the entire Central Coast region,” Mr Roberts said.
He said the Darkinjung is the largest non-Government landholder on the Central Coast with 3,700 hectares of land and the new planning framework would allow the land to be used in a variety of ways, including residential development, employment lands and conservation plans.
“This initiative includes revised planning processes, legal changes, ongoing collaboration and education between the NSW Government and Darkinjung that are unprecedented in their depth and breadth.
“Importantly, we see potential for this package to roll out to other Local Aboriginal Land Councils, enabling Aboriginal communities across NSW to better achieve economic self-determination from their lands.”
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the measures would enable Darkinjung to maximise land usage.
“I am absolutely delighted by the suite of reforms being introduced by the NSW Government.
Given the Darkinjung’s positive community engagement on the Central Coast, it is only fitting for our region to benefit from this pioneering policy,” Mr Crouch said.
A Darkinjung Delivery Framework Consultation Paper outlining the inter-related measures – including an explanation of intended effect of the SEPP – received overwhelming support when exhibited from 16 November to 14 December 2018 – with more than 90 per cent of stakeholders who wrote submissions supporting the plan.
Darkinjung Chairperson Matthew West praised the NSW Government for developing such a bold set of initiatives.
“The release of this package is a historic moment in the journey to self-determination of Aboriginal people on the Central Coast,” Mr West said.
“These are profound measures with the potential to drive positive results for generations to come.”
Coordinator General for the Central Coast, Lee Shearer, said the package implements a key Direction of the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 (Regional Plan): strengthening the economic self-determination of Aboriginal communities.
“The Regional Plan recognises that encouraging Aboriginal people to gain economic benefit from their land will support broader regional development, environmental and social outcomes,” Ms Shearer said.
A video featuring Matthew West, Minister Roberts and Lee Shearer discussing the Framework is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXIafiKbRsQ&feature=youtu.be