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To stop paying rent would be silly: Munro

Moree Champion 07 Jun, 2012 09:51 AM

Gomeroi tribal people in the Moree area have been advised by their clans to stop paying rent for houses in the “top camp” and “old mission” areas as part of an assertion of sovereignty.

Aboriginal spokesperson Michael Anderson said the Moree Gomeroi people were unhappy with the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSW ALC) for transferring administration of all NSW Aboriginal Land Council houses to foreign rental agencies.

He said the Aboriginal Land Council now have little ability to maintain or provide housing.

“This was done to meet Minister Jenny Macklin’s criterion of leasing Aboriginal properties to foreign agencies, in order for renovations and additions to be made to those houses with government appropriated funds,” the statement says.

“The fact that the NSW ALC system has little to no capacity to conduct major renovations or to provide new housing for Aboriginal people on Local Aboriginal Land Council lands is a sad indictment against the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.”

Moree Aboriginal Land Council chair Lloyd Munro Snr said the board had not yet met on the issues raised by Mr Anderson.

However he said it would be “really silly” to stop paying rent for housing.

“It’s our community, it’s our Land Council and no-one can tell us what to do. You can’t come in and tell people to stop paying rent.”

Mr Munro said at the moment, the Moree Land Council was not a housing provider. The housing is provided through a local real estate.

“Down the track it might be but we currently don’t have the funding to be a housing provider.”

“We have only been up and running for two years, after about 18 years of being in administration. We’re in a re-building stage.”