Lot 490 Returned to Original Custodians

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Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, today joined with the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs,
Leslie Williams MP, in handing the Title Deeds for Lot 490 to the Tweed-Byron Aboriginal Land
Council.

“No issue has attracted more comment from the community, no issue has polarised opinion
more than the future of Lot 490,” Mr Provest said.

“For more than a decade we have seen consultations, promises, protests and petitions in order
to determine the future of the land and balance the conflicting proposals for its use.”

At a special ceremony attended by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams, the local land council was given the official title deeds for the controversial South Kingscliff block.

Previously the area was the subject of an unsuccessful development application for a multi-million dollar development by Leightons Holdings.

Prior to the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre ceremony, Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the handing over of the title deeds was a historically significant moment.

“I think it’s the end of a saga and the beginning of a beautiful future,” Mr Provest said.

“I think our land council worked extremely hard and has a vision for the future, for their own people as well as the wider community.

I have full faith in the custodianship and their ability to manage the future of that land.”

There’s no confirmed plan for the block but a range of community groups are touting conflicting preferred uses for it, including a nature reserve, car park and caravan park.

Labor’s Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord previously said he was hopeful the Land Council would work with the NSW Government to manage Lot 490 as a national park.

When the land claim was announced, Lot 490 spokesperson Jerry Cornford also said the group urged elders to commit to turning the land into a national park.

The land title claim was lodged last year, in a queue of about 10,000 other land claims across the nation and was successful due to strong evidence of ownership.

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