Council Meeting re Dorrigo Polocrosse Field

By October 29, 2018Latest News

Excerpt from Bellingen Shire Courier-Sun 28 October 2018

A few items on the agenda for Wednesday morning look potentially controversial, so here’s a heads up for those who might wish to attend the community consultation forum prior to the meeting or address the meeting itself.

Applications to address the meeting need to be received before noon on Tuesday using this form and emailing councildeputations@bellingen.nsw.gov.au

The Councillor Community Forum will be held 8– 9am on Wednesday October 31 at Bellingen Council Chambers, and will be followed by the council meeting.

The agenda and its reports are available here.

Note that the document is 184 pages long but you don’t have to scroll through it – clicking on an agenda item on page 8 will take you to that point in the document, or you can navigate via the bookmarks icon at the top right of your screen.

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Let’s let it go

On page 70, there’s the proposal that council cease its previous opposition to Aboriginal land claims over the Dorrigo Polocrosse Fields and the Dorrigo Horse Common. It notes that a new off-leash dog walking area would need to be found.

11.2 ABORIGINAL LAND CLAIMS AT DORRIGO – POLOCROSSE FIELDS & HORSE COMMON

“In reviewing the Council’s ability to actually source the information requested by DOIL [Department of Industry-Lands], the ongoing resourcing required to maintain these land parcels, the lack of any suitable land currently within the possession of the Dorrigo Plateau Local Aboriginal Land Council and the potential benefits from this land passing out of the Crown Estate, it was considered that the optimal outcome in this instance would be for Council to instead advise the DOIL that it has no objection to the granting of the Land Claims” (p.71).

“Council does not readily have access to evidence that would provide the additional level of justification being requested by the DOIL. It is possible that members of the community may have access to some of this knowledge or information regarding the use of the facility at the relevant dates, however, it is not proposed that Council undertake community consultation to determine this. This would create a precedent of similar expectation for the 228 other undetermined land claims in the Shire” (p.76,81).

RECOMMENDATION

That Council:

1. Resolves to advise the NSW Department of Industry (Lands) that it has no objection to the granting of Aboriginal Land Claims 7180, 7443, & 36591, over the Dorrigo Polocrosse Fields, in favour of the Dorrigo Plateau Local Aboriginal Land Council, subject to the creation of 5m wide easements over existing sewer mains and infrastructure traversing the area of the claims.

2. Resolves to commence investigations into the location of an alternative ‘’off-leash area’’ in Dorrigo in the 2019/2020 Financial Year.

3. Resolves to advise the NSW Department of Industry (Lands) that it has no objection to the granting of Aboriginal Land Claims 7345, 7348, 7349, 7449,7450, 22802, over the Dorrigo Horse Common, in favour of the Dorrigo Plateau Local Aboriginal Land Council, subject to the creation of: a) 5m wide easements over existing sewer mains and infrastructure traversing the area of the claims. b) A legal point of access to the rear portion of the land that is currently used for grazing, from Kurrajong St that will preserve the ability of this land to be developed for its current zoned purpose. Council’s preference in this regard is for the creation of a 16m wide access handle, or at minimum, a 7m wide Right of carriageway. c) A legal point of access from the rear portion of the land that is currently used for grazing, to existing Council water & sewerage mains that will preserve the ability of this land to be developed for its current zoned purpose.

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