Tag Archives: land

Tasmanian Aboriginals celebrate state’s most important land hand-back

Posted December 10, 2015 18:54:28

Tasmania’s Aboriginal community has celebrated 20 years since the most considerable land hand-back in the state’s history.

In December 1995, title to 12 parcels of land was handed back to Aboriginal elders by then Liberal Premier Ray Groom.

The land included Risdon Cove, also referred to as piyura kitana, on Hobart’s eastern shore.

Twenty years on, the Aboriginal community returned to the place to celebrate.

“It is an critical time to acknowledge the folks who, and the neighborhood who, contributed to the land returns, and the elders that accepted the titles here,” said neighborhood member Adam Thompson.

Michael Beaton was working at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in 1995.

There’s a lot of Crown land left in Tasmania and that land is our land. We’re asking the present Government [to] give us the autonomy over these lands.

Trudy Maluga

“It was a fantastic achievement for the community and it was a community effort to get the land back,” Mr Beaton said.

The common public have been invited to take guided walks on the land and to see how it is being managed.

“We are capable of searching following our land, and we do it in a peaceful and cultural manner,” mentioned State Secretary of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Trudy Maluga.

“The healing method and the tactics that we’ve learnt along the way are useful to all people,” she stated.

Land hand-backs in Tasmania

  • 1995 – 12 parcels of land, such as Risdon Cove – piyura kitina
  • 1999 – Wybalenna on Flinders Island
  • 2005 – Cape Barren Island – Truwanna
  • 2005 – Clarke Island – Lungtalanana

Ms Maluga mentioned Risdon Cove was a place of celebration but also of sorrow.

“It was a massacre website for our men and women,” she mentioned.

Risdon Cove was the 1st internet site selected for British settlement in Tasmania in 1803 by Lieutenant John Bowen.

It was abandoned the following year in favour of Sullivans Cove from which Hobart sprang.

Premier urged to act on guarantee of a lot more returns

Premier Ray Groom hands over land deed in 1995 Photo: In 1995, Premier Ray Groom handed back 12 parcels of land. (ABC News)

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre utilized Thursday’s occasion to call for more land returns from the State Government.

Given that Cape Barren and Clarke Islands were returned in 2005 there have been no legislated hand-backs.

“We will usually contact for more land,” stated Ms Maluga.

“There is a lot of Crown land left in Tasmania and that land is our land.

“We’re asking the present Government and future governments to take that into consideration and give us the autonomy more than these lands.

“To heal them, to bring our youth there, to teach them and share all of our expertise with the broader community.”

Premier Will Hodgman stated his Government has committed to “reset” the partnership with Aboriginal Tasmanians.

“That contains in a quantity of regions, hand-backs, land management systems, new techniques of ensuring that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have access to the land with which they have a powerful connection,” he said.

“He’s been saying that considering that he’s been elected,” mentioned Ms Maluga.

“It’s about time he truly shows us how he intends to do that.”

Topics: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, aboriginal, hobart-7000

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NT Treasurer employing power debt to push for freehold of land, Bagot president says

By Sally Brooks

Updated December 08, 2015 12:11:59

The president of a single of Darwin’s oldest Aboriginal communities says it has been proposed it freeholds and sell some land to pay off a debt to the Power and Water Corporation.

Founded in 1938, Bagot Neighborhood was formed to take the place of the Kahlin Compound for Aboriginal folks in Darwin.

Bagot is about six kilometres from Darwin CBD and residence to about 400 Aboriginal folks from around the Northern Territory.

Bagot Community Incorporated went into voluntary administration in October, owing $ 701,692.30 in unpaid water and sewerage bills to Energy and Water Corporation (PWC).

Essential points:

  • Bagot enters voluntary administration in October, due to unpaid water and sewerage bills
  • Community demands investigation into the debt and has been trying because 2011 to realize fluctuating quarterly PWC bills
  • Bagot president says Dave Tollner told their administrator the only way to clear the bill “was by freeholding land”
  • Mr Tollner has extended called for Bagot to be “normalised”

The neighborhood has mentioned it has been attempting to sort out difficulties with water usage considering that 2011 and want an investigation into the bill.

Community president Helen Fejo-Frith stated the administrator, from Meertens Charted Accountants, had met with Treasurer Dave Tollner.

“He told us that Mr Tollner stated the only way we could clear that bill was by freeholding land on the neighborhood. But he said if we freehold 1 location, the complete region has to be freehold.

“We mentioned we never want that.”

Meertens’ administrator Austin Taylor stated there had been some confusion around freeholding the land, and the original thought came from the community.

“The 1st meeting we had they were the ones who recommended that they would need to have to freehold some land to spend off the debt,” he mentioned.

“The situation then became how significantly of the land became freeholded since it is all on a single lease in perpetuity. The entire 23 hectares.

“And so to freehold component of it you are going to have to surrender the lease and then either freehold all of it or have one more lease issued.”

Mr Tollner declined to comment and will meet with the neighborhood on Wednesday.

Treasurer’s long-term program to ‘normalise’ Bagot

The Treasurer and Member for Fong Lim has long held aspirations to create Bagot Neighborhood.

In a newsletter from 2012 – titled the “Tollner Telegraph” – Mr Tollner said the Country Liberals celebration (CLP) was committed to “normalising” Bagot.

He mentioned then he wanted to sub-divide the land so any person could purchase a home.

In October, in a statement to the ABC, Mr Tollner mentioned the CLP Government had won a mandate at the last election to transform Bagot into a “gorgeous and vibrant suburb”.

Ms Fejo-Frith said the community was unhappy the administrator had been meeting with Mr Tollner offered these views.

But Mr Taylor stated he had been meeting with Mr Tollner for a number of causes, including because he is the regional member, the Treasurer and the Lands and Organizing Minister.

“So he has an interest in Energy and Water and the debt troubles, and he is also really passionate about helping the men and women of Bagot. He really does want to attempt and assist them,” he stated.

“The Bagot neighborhood have a view on what they want and the Minister clearly has a view which is effectively known.

“We are piggy in the middle. We are attempting to negotiate or mediate some sort of frequent ground here to get an outcome that functions for everybody.

“We are not wedded to any specific perspective, we are entirely independent in all of this. We are not pushing anyone’s barrow. We are attempting to sort the difficulty out and spend the bills.”

Confusion more than bills right after water meters installed

The neighborhood has been functioning to acquire clarity around water bills because 2011, when water meters had been installed.

Bagot Community Incorporated (BCI) member Marita Mummery stated the community’s quarterly water bill had spiked drastically.

Bagot community Photo: The Bagot neighborhood is facing an uncertain future. (ABC News)

“We were obtaining quarterly bills of $ eight,000 dollars, for it to suddenly jump to $ 30,000 plus, that is a big concern,” she said.

BCI secretary Natalie Harwood stated it was the community’s accountant that suggested BCI go into administration to sort out the water bill.

“Even our accountants could not tell us exactly where we have been at with Power and Water,” she mentioned.

“I imply they could tell us how we are owing but they couldn’t tell us who paid what or what money has come from exactly where.”

Mr Taylor mentioned he was searching at the bills and was aware of conflicting views on the accounts.

“They are been looked at by a large quantity of men and women and no one can appear to get to the bottom of what is going on with it.”

In a statement, PWC mentioned all consumer information was “industrial in-self-assurance”.

“Energy and Water does not personal or keep the water infrastructure within the neighborhood,” stated a PWC spokesperson.

She stated “some meters have been installed within the neighborhood” as portion of Division of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs funding, and Power and Water had been “reading these meters to aid enhance awareness about water use”.

“Bagot Community Inc has an outstanding bill for water and sewerage solutions and Energy and Water representatives have met with community representatives on a number of occasions to discuss payment options. This is now in the hands of the receiver,” the spokesperson mentioned.

A public meeting to discuss the future of the community is set to be held at 10:00am on December 12 at Bagot Neighborhood hall.

Topics: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, indigenous-policy, government-and-politics, bagot-0820

First posted December 08, 2015 11:58:52

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Darwin developer escapes prosecution over contentious land clearing

By Avani Dias

Posted December 04, 2015 17:22:44

Clearing of land at Boulter Road, Darwin Photo: The cleared block on Boulter Road, in Darwin’s northern suburbs. (Supplied: Environment Centre NT)
Connected Story: Calls for prosecution soon after vegetation cleared
Map: Berrimah 0828

A developer who cleared a block of land in Darwin’s north, which at the time was alleged to be a “clear breach” of arranging procedure, will not be prosecuted.

In February, Darwin businessman Nick Bjelica lodged an application to have the block on Boulter Road in Berrimah rezoned from Community Purposes to Numerous Residential Dwelling.

Two months later, four of the seven hectares of native vegetation on the block of land had been cleared, sparking a furious reaction from neighborhood groups.

Then lands and arranging minister Peter Chandler alleged the act was a “clear breach” of government procedure.

Important points:

  • Darwin businessman Nick Bjelica lodges application to have block rezoned
  • Block cleared of vegetation in April, 2014 sparking outcry
  • Then arranging minister alleges clearing was a “clear breach” of preparing process
  • Existing Minister announces there will not be a prosecution

“I cannot ask the public to have faith in the Government’s organizing processes if they’re not enforced when there has been a clear breach,” Mr Chandler told News Corp.

“We want to see sustainable improvement, that is why we’re looking at this area’s flood and drainage issues to see what improvement is suitable … this guy has just jumped the gun.”

But the Government will not be proceeding with a prosecution.

“The Development Consent Authority (DCA) has concluded its investigation into the matter and has advised that it will not be proceeding with prosecution,” a spokeswoman for current Planning Minister Dave Tollner stated today.

She mentioned that “regrettably, even with the assistance of the NT Police, the DCA was unable to prepare a viable case against the primary parties responsible” for what she alleged was “the illegal clearing” of the block.

“The current enforcement action has brought to light a quantity of shortcomings in the investigatory provisions (of the Preparing Act),” Mr Tollner’s spokesperson said.

“For this cause the Minister has directed the Department of Lands, Preparing and the Atmosphere to undertake a overview of the present provisions of the act with a view to escalating the department’s investigatory and enforcement powers.”

Mr Tollner’s spokeswoman mentioned that would be carried out to cease alleged “equivalent illegal clearing activities” from happening “in the future”.

Each the DCA, which is headed by former Nation Liberals chief minister Denis Burke, and Mr Tollner “take the situation of illegal clearing of land really seriously”, the spokesperson stated.

“As a result advice was sought from the solicitor for the Northern Territory on whether there have been any extra avenues to pursue the matter in light of the proof.”

Mr Tollner’s office stated the evaluation would assist “increase Government’s capability to effectively undertake comparable prosecution actions in the future”.

There was, Mr Tollner stated, “no connection amongst the land clearing and the application to rezone the land”.

MD zoning allows for development two storeys above ground level.

Environmental group outraged

The Speedy Creek Landcare Group stated it was dismayed by the selection and claimed there was adequate proof to prosecute the organization that did the clearing function.

“We had been shocked… there is clear evidence that the organization did carry out the clearing,” the group’s secretary Lesley Alford stated.

Landcare's Lesley Alford Photo: Landcare’s Lesley Alford is disappointed at events considering that this block was cleared of native vegetation.

That contractor, Litchfield Green Waste Recyclers, confirmed they did clear the block, but did so below instruction from one more organization, Halikos, which said it was neither the owner nor the developer of the block.

Ms Alford mentioned the Government and DCA’s choice not to prosecute showed a weakness in legislation.

She asked how could the neighborhood have faith in the arranging process if it was not going to be implemented when what she described as “a clear breach” occurred.

“The wetland that’s on this block is part of the Marrara wetlands which type the upper Fast Creek catchment,” Ms Alford stated.

“It’s a actually critical element of the Rapid Creek program, for the ecology of the program and for the hydrology of Speedy Creek.

“But there’s also the principle of the Government enforcing its own arranging act and its personal organizing scheme.”

Bjelica: ‘I wasn’t aware the land was getting cleared’

Mr Bjelica told the ABC he was not conscious that the land was being cleared.

“I was away in Katherine doing organization at the time,” he mentioned.

“I don’t go there very typically I was told by a person else that the land had been cleared.”

Shortfalls in organizing scheme identified in September

A committee formed to supply tips to Government on flood mitigation in the higher Darwin area discovered “preparing decisions requiring stormwater assessment are fragmented and responsibilities are ambiguous”.

The committee, which delivered its report to Government in September, advised the “definition of flooding within the NT Preparing Scheme is amended to incorporate stormwater flooding to the effect that the owner or occupier of land maintains the pre-improvement peak flow prices within a catchment”.

It identified there was “no underlying legislation that bargains directly with stormwater management”.

“There is no overarching understanding at the organizing level of the principles and objectives of stormwater management to be followed in the Northern Territory,” the committee mentioned.

In October, Mr Tollner announced the Government would be “implementing the measures” from the committee’s suggestions.

Public feedback on the improvement application at Boulter Road is open till December 18, 2015 and can be accessed on the Department of Lands and Arranging web site.

External Link: The block, situated at the corner of Boulter Road and Amy Johnson Drive, Berrimah, NT.

Subjects: environmental-policy, land-clearing, government-and-politics, berrimah-0828

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