News / Featured / Community / 3rd February 2022
Former police residence transferred to Aboriginal community
The NSW Government has presented the land title to a former police residence to Coonabararan Local Aboriginal Land Council following an Aboriginal land claim.
Crown Lands executive director of Aboriginal Land Strategy, Michael Ramalli, said the transfer of the John Street property was a good outcome for the Aboriginal and wider community.
“The NSW Government is committed to the Aboriginal Land Rights process to support economic and social outcomes for Indigenous communities,” Mr Ramalli said.
“The former police residence in John Street, Coonabarabran had been vacant for a number of years and was surplus to government requirements. “The transfer of the property will allow it to be put to productive use for the benefit of the Aboriginal and wider community.”
Aboriginal land claims are a statutory right under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 to help compensate for historic dispossession of land.
Vacant Crown land can be claimed by Local Aboriginal Land Councils if it meets statutory criteria, including if it is not being lawfully used or occupied.
The land claim was lodged by Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council and part approved over a 1124 square metre block containing the former three-bedroom police residence and a garage. The site was reserved for police purposes in 1891.
The Department of Planning and Environment - Crown Lands has presented the Certificate of Title and keys to the property to members of the Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council Board.
Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO, Monique Monzette said the transfer of the land was a proud moment.
“It’s fantastic to have this land returned to the Aboriginal community, all land that is returned is extremely important,” Ms Monzette said.
“We have exciting things planned for the site to benefit the entire community, not just Indigenous residents, which we will reveal when we can, and we will have a community opening day when it happens.”
The former police residence in John Street, Coonabarabran. Top: Crown Lands officer Shane Smith hands over the Certificate of Title to Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council Board members Irene Nixon, Margaret Leslie, Beryl Dowd and Casey Dowd.