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New era for Native Title funding

Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation’s Elders and members. Images: Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation

supplied by Sen Scullion’s office 19 September 2015

T

he Federal Government will provide the Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) with almost $200,000 to assist native title holders maximise the benefits of owning their own land. Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said GAC would receive $194,471 for further economic development on Gooniyandi country in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. “This is the first time funding has been allocated directly for native title holders and follows the Commonwealth’s announcement

of over $20 million to support the better use of native title as part of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. Member for Durack Melissa Price said she was thrilled for GAC, after she worked hard to ensure GAC received the funding to provide economic opportunities in their area. “This is a great outcome for GAC and the local Gooniyandi people,” Ms Price said. “GAC now have the opportunity to create opportunities for the local Aboriginal people which will have long term benefits.” “GAC has shown great initiative in using its own trust money to build capacity and generate opportunities for economic

development in Gooniyandi country, which covers more than 11,000 square kilometres of land from Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek. “GAC’s achievements include signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GoGo Station Pty Ltd to explore the potential for broad-scale irrigated agriculture and employment for up to 400 people. “Up until now, Commonwealth funding to native title corporations for their core business has been provided through regional native title representative bodies. “Funding native title corporations like this will ensure native title holders are directly involved in managing their

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own affairs and is part of this Government’s determination to support local communities pursue their own aspirations for economic development.” AC Vice Chair, Laurie Shaw,

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said the MoU with GoGo was an exciting development that would generate job opportunities for young people while respecting local Indigenous culture and land. “It will give people incentives

and opportunities to build their own businesses. I am encouraging a lot of young people to one day own their own machines and do work for Gooniyandi and GoGo,” Mr Shaw said.


New era for native title funding