New suite of planning measures to help Darkinjung LALC

Darkinjung chairperson, Matthew West, Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, and Coordinator General for the Central Coast, Lee Shearer, with members of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

Residential developments at Somersby and Kariong will be two of the first projects to be actioned under a new suite of planning measures aimed at helping Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council achieve better outcomes from its land.
The new measures were unveiled on February 6 by NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts.
Darkinjung Chairperson, Matthew West, said they would provide certainty of cultural and environmental preservation for the future of Darkinjung’s approximately 3,700 hectares of land.
“We are very happy with these measures, made possible in the spirit of reconciliation by the Department of Planning and Housing and Darkinjung coming together to understand what we see as the future for the Central Coast,” West said.
The Somersby proposal would see a large parcel of land rezoned for environmental management (approximately 22.4HA) and environmental conservation (approximately 101.6HA) resulting in nine rural residential style lots.
The Kariong proposal would see around 6.5HA rezoned for urban expansion.
West confirmed a residential development at Lake Munmorah and a proposal to rezone land at Wallarah for employment uses and environmental conservation would also be among the first projects to be actioned, as outlined in the Interim Darkinjung Development Delivery Plan.
He said the new initiative would help generate employment and economic growth within the Central Coast community.
“In the past, we have seen very long approval times – it’s a question of capacity; a number of our projects are quite large and require extensive studies which can take a number of years,” he said.
“Our Lake Munmorah proposal, for example, was first recorded in 2015.”
The Darkinjung Delivery Framework (DDF) proposes eight interrelated actions to help Darkinjung to develop its land, allow greater self-determination for the Darkinjung community, and encourage better social and economic results from its land.
They include 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 Darkinjung and the NSW Government will work together.
Planning and Housing Minister, Anthony Roberts, said it was a proud moment to stand with the Darkinjung people and deliver inventive measures that would help benefit their communities and the entire Central Coast region.
Central Coast Coordinator General, Lee Shearer, said the package implemented a key Direction of the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 (Regional Plan): strengthening the economic self-determination of Aboriginal communities.
Darkinjung is one of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils in NSW established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (ALR) Act 1983.
The ALR Act was passed by the NSW Parliament to establish a network of Aboriginal Land Councils to acquire and manage land as an economic base for Aboriginal communities, as compensation for historic dispossession and in recognition of their ongoing disadvantage.
Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW (UDIA NSW) CEO, Steve Mann, said the measures could become a model for addressing the needs of Local Aboriginal Land Councils throughout NSW.
“Many Local Aboriginal Land Councils currently lack the experience and expertise to maximise the opportunities presented by their often substantial land holdings,’’ he said.
“The Darkinjung Delivery Framework seeks to support the Darkinjung LALC in its development efforts, and in so doing, also convey positive outcomes for overall regional development, biodiversity conservation and social outcomes on the Central Coast.”

Media release, Feb 6
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council
Media release, Feb 6
NSW Department of Planning and Environment
Media release, Feb 6
Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW
Interim Darkinjung Development Delivery Plan, 2019
Interview, Feb 13
Matthew West, Darkinjung chairperson
Reporter: Terry Collins

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