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Review of the Model for Returning Land to Aboriginal Communities

Photo: larapuna (/Eddystone Point)

The Aboriginal Lands Acts 1995 promotes reconciliation with Tasmanian Aboriginal communities by granting Aboriginal people certain parcels of land of historic or cultural significance. The Act provides for the establishment of the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania (ALCT), election of members to the Council and the return of land to Tasmanian Aboriginal communities.

The return of land to Tasmania’s Aboriginal people has been an important way to progress reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Tasmanians. To date, the Tasmanian Government has returned 55,617 hectares of culturally and historically significant Crown land to Aboriginal communities.

The return of more land to its original custodians forms a crucial part of the Tasmanian Government’s Reset Agenda. Reviewing the model for returning land to  Aboriginal communities is the first step in this process. This review will identify barriers to returning land, and seek options to improve the land return process.

Improving the model for returning land to Aboriginal communities

The Tasmanian Government is seeking to improve the existing land return model to ensure a more certain pathway for the Government to return land to Aboriginal communities. The Government also acknowledges that a more inclusive land return and management approach is needed that so that all benefits all Aboriginal people in Tasmania can benefit.

The Discussion Paper: Improving the model for returning land to the Aboriginal community, was released for broader public comment and consultation (for a six week period) from 9 August to 20 September 2018, with an extension until January 2019.

Responses

On conclusion of the consultation period, 151 separate submissions or responses were received by the Department of Communities Tasmania and are summarised in the Consultation and Stakeholder Feedback Report. These views will inform a Draft Report to be developed by the Department of Communities Tasmania in consultation with key stakeholders, including Aboriginal communities, who will be consulted on the Draft Report before final recommendations are made to the Tasmanian Government for consideration.

Communities, Sport and Recreation
Department of Communities Tasmania
GPO Box 65
HOBART TAS 7001

csr@communities.tas.gov.au

For further information contact Communities, Sport and Recreation phone 03 6232 7133.