native title today in n$w

23Nov10

About 400 hectares of land at North Tuncurry will be developed for housing.

The CEO of the Native Title Services Corporation, Warren Mundine, says hopefully this will be the first of similar agreements.

“I think this is a good template that we can now take across the state of New South Wales,” he said.

“We could have outcomes that help in the socio-economic development of townships and across New South Wales.

“As well as the benefits that flow on then to the Aboriginal people, where they become partners, and within the process and they also have economic outcomes that benefit everyone.”

Mr Mundine says the agreement is a good win which will allow the Worimi Birpai people of Foster Tuncurry to be part of the region’s growth.

“It’s an agreement which recognises Aboriginal people’s rights in this area,” he said. “At the same time, it has a socio-economic outcome for the people of the Forster Tuncurry area. It’s the first of its kind agreement here in New South Wales, so it was quite a revolutionary, and a very good agreement.”

From the ABC, whose headline reads ‘Native Title win could pave way for others’.

But this claim was retracted, surrendered and can never be resurrected. What was won was money, not Native Title (capitalised or not).

Quoting Tony Kelly: “They have agreed to forgo the Native Title claim, in return for a payment of $10 million over the next 30 years, provided this development goes ahead.”

This is a win of some kind or other: money is still important, after all, and it’s a whole lot better than nothing. Mundine and his enterprise worked hard to reach an agreement over a claim where none might ever have been made. Well done.

Well before the 30-year period winds up, however, this 400 hectare region of golf-course fronted coastal land will be carved up into hundreds of residential blocks, prime for the construction of those beautifully bourgeois houses we all envy/hate. Just who lives in those houses, I’d say, will decide whether this one is a ‘win’ or not.

Either that, or what is actually done with all that money, will decide whether this one is a ‘win’ or not.



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