Statewide award for Aboriginal land claim survey

Media release | 2 March 2021

A NSW Government team has won a statewide award by using an array of technologies to overcome geographical challenges to survey a significant Aboriginal Land Claim on the South Coast.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock congratulated the Crown Lands Survey Team in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council on its successful land claim.

“The Aboriginal Land Claim by the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council covers 172 hectares in three sections near the northern headland of Jervis Bay near Currarong.

“The Nowra Crown Lands survey team used a wide variety of cutting-edge technologies to overcome difficult and sometimes dangerous geographic challenges to accurately map the land claim’s boundaries,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The survey team tackled natural barriers including heavily vegetated terrain, 1.6 kilometres of near vertical rugged cliffs, 700 metres of creek line, 2.1 kilometres of tidal shoreline, and bushfire threats.

“The land has now been transferred to Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council who will manage this area of rugged beauty and environmental sensitivity.

“For its effort, the survey team’s entry won the NSW Spatial Enablement category of the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards and it will now go to the national awards.”

Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Alfred Wellington said he was very happy to have the land claim finalised.

“This area is one of our dreaming places so it is very significant. The whole peninsula is very significant to Aboriginal people, especially the Jerrinja as custodians, and we have a long association with that land,” Mr Wellington said.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the NSW Government is committed to the Aboriginal land rights process to support economic and social outcomes for Indigenous communities.

“Land claims are often complex and require detailed investigations so it’s great to see this Crown Lands survey team recognised for pulling out all stops,” Mrs Pavey said.

“In 2019-20, the Department processed a record 1,505 land claims with over 4,700 hectares of land granted to over 50 different Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

“Over 150,000 hectares of land have been granted to Local Aboriginal Land Councils through Aboriginal Land Claims since the Aboriginal Land Rights Act began.”

View a video of the project made by the Crown Lands survey team with further details of their project awards entry also available.