The Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council (DLALC) and Total Environment Centre have welcomed a historic agreement with the NSW Government which will protect 1100 hectares of land on the Cumberland Plain, while also catalysing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity. 

In providing the Deerubbin Penrith Structure Plan with ‘strategic’ bio-certification, the first ever declaration of its kind, the NSW Government has shown it is committed to supporting  an environmentally and commercially sustainable future for DLALC members and Western Sydney. 

“DLALC, through its members and Board, has worked hard for over 30 years to achieve a sensible planning outcome for these lands”, said DLALC Chair, Athol Smith. 

“Now we see an integrated outcome that delivers not only for our members, and the objectives of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, but also for everyone who lives and works  in Western Sydney.” 

“It is so refreshing to be able to work with the Government, and conservation groups to deliver such a good environmental and economic outcome for the region, and our people.” 

The Deerubbin Penrith Structure plan will deliver the following to Western Sydney: 

  • Up to $2.5 billion income or $450 million per annum, and over 2000 jobs from Intensive Integrated Horticultural Hub and its waste and water recovery facility (KPMG).
  • Up to $22 million in income (direct and indirect) per annum, and 165 jobs from Bushland Cemetery (Deloitte).
  • Flood evacuation area: The cemetery will be accessible and all above flood levels
  • Over 1100 hectares of Cumberland Plain Conservation Lands permanently reserved in National Park, seed collection, Nursery and Centre for Ecological Restoration of Western Sydney Bushland – Indigenous-led regeneration.
  • Up to $110 million in construction phase and 500 jobs, and delivery of 250 new dwellings from urban-capable lands.

Jeff Angel, CEO of Total Environment Centre, said he was pleased to support Deerubbin’s ambitious vision for these lands. “It's a great combination of environment protection and economic justice for the local aboriginal community,” Mr Angel said. 

“The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan is a long-term effort but much can happen to the  remaining important bushland and threatened species in the meantime, so the immediate transfer of land to be conserved is a big win."

“We look forward to further working with Deerubbin to achieve a legacy for future generations.'' 

Kevin Cavanagh, CEO Emeritus of DLALC added, “We thank the government for its support, we will be able to build a more secure, fairer future  for our members, and they will be able to see important cultural and environmental outcomes that their forebearers worked so hard to protect permanently, this is truly about human growth and development."

“The generosity of this $350 million conservation lands will be balanced with opportunities for  affordable burials for members, job opportunities and a secure income stream for DLALC.” 

Photo by Joel Henry from the Knapsack Reserve in Glenbrook via Unsplash

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