Somersby rezoning proposal could make history

Planning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes, and Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council Chairperson, Matthew WestPlanning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes, and Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council Chairperson, Matthew West

A proposal to rezone land at Somersby is the first to be considered under the State Governments new planning framework to provide indigenous people with greater powers in determining the use of their land.

The proposal, submitted by the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, would see more than 100ha conserved as environmental land and 20ha allocated for rural housing, and will be independently assessed under the Darkinjung Delivery Framework which was introduced in February. Planning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes, was in Gosford on August 15 and said the suite of reforms was an historic step.

We want to unlock opportunities for local Aboriginal Land Councils to help them deliver economic and community benefits from their lands for future generations, Stokes said.

Darkinjung Chairperson, Matthew West, praised the measures which he said were providing the right structure to help the Land Council achieve its goals. Darkinjung is the largest non-Government landowner on the Central Coast, so the Delivery Framework has the potential to not just benefit our people, but to lead to great outcomes for the entire Coast community for generations to come, West said.

The Framework is working to help realise Darkinjungs aspirations to enrich the Coast community by building homes, creating jobs and securing education and training opportunities.

The Somersby proposal has the potential to act as a catalyst for Darkinjung to progress other projects, West said. Darkinjung has a number of other planning proposals already proceeding through the rezoning process, he said. The overall aim is to have a sustainable pipeline of development on our land.

Source: Media release, Aug 15 Planning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes Media release, Aug 15 Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

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