NSW Government partners with Barkandji people to bring improved health services to the Murray

Media release | 24 March 2020

The NSW Government has signed a landmark agreement with the Barkandji and Malyangapa Aboriginal communities to deliver a new integrated HealthOne facility in the Murray River town of Buronga.

Servicing Buronga, Dareton, Wentworth, Euston and Balranald, the new facility is funded by the NSW Government’s $100 million Statewide HealthOne Program.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey said this a great achievement for the Barkandji and Malyangapa people. They have helped bring essential health services, such as community midwifery, child and family health, physiotherapy, podiatry and immunisation to their region, whilst maintaining cultural guidance of their land.

The agreement will see Crown land at Buronga transferred to the Barkandji Corporation, with Native Title rights intact, as freehold land. Barkandji will then lease it back to NSW Health to build and operate the facility.

“This is the first time the NSW Government has approached the development of land subject to native title in this way and demonstrates our commitment to collaboration with the Barkandji People,” Mrs Pavey said.

Barkandji Registered Native Title Group Aboriginal Corporation CEO Derek Hardman said he was thrilled by this innovative partnership between the NSW Government and the Barkandji and Malyangapa Aboriginal communities.

“The connection of land to community health and wellbeing in this case can now be a very true and genuine one which has all the potential to mark a change in approach and deliver an ongoing legacy of purpose and connection,” Mr Hardman said.

Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard said Buronga HealthOne is on track to start construction later this year. When completed in 2021, it provide healthcare with services to Dareton, Wentworth, Euston and Balranald. Together these five sites will form a network of integrated health hub known as the Southern Cluster.

“The partnership between NSW Government and the Barkandji Corporation is greater than just the property agreement. NSW Health are working with the Barkandji and TrainingServices NSW to develop programs to build local skills capabilities in the region to assist people to develop business opportunities associated with the health facility and the broader community.” Mr Hazzard said.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey and Deputy Chairperson of the Barkandji native title holding body, Warren Clark