I spent today in the Jervis Bay Territory; a small pocket of Commonwealth-owned coastal land near Nowra. I spent my time meeting with local constituents and talking with the local school, and also had the chance to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Wreck Bay Land grant.
JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform
ANDREW LEIGH MP
Member for Fraser
Historic anniversary for Wreck Bay Land grant
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Wreck Bay Land grant, a significant anniversary for the local Aboriginal community.
Twenty-five years ago the then Hawke government handed back 403 hectares of land in Wreck Bay, in the Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, to the local Aboriginal community.
This historic event followed many years of negotiation and was a significant step in recognising traditional land and beginning a process of healing for the local Aboriginal community.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said that since the land grant, the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council has worked hard to protect natural and cultural sites.
“The council has ensured their land has retained its rich variety of habitats, which provide a home for more than 200 species of birds, 30 species of land mammals and 180 species of fish,” Ms Macklin said.
“The council also continues to pass on traditional knowledge, ensuring that their rich cultural heritage is not lost.
“And by providing community services, education and training, supporting health needs, including aid and housing assistance, the council has helped to build a strong community.”
Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, joined the community for the anniversary celebrations and congratulated the Wreck Bay community and council for their hard work and dedication over the past 25 years.
“Today is a special day for the Wreck Bay community and I’m pleased to be able to share in the celebrations to mark this historic occasion,” Dr Leigh said.
“The Australian Government has provided $20,000 funding to support the events marking the anniversary of the Wreck Bay Land grant.”
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community was handed the land title in 1987 under the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay) Act 1986.
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