Pass­ing of Bill will give ac­cess to project grants

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Joanna De­la­lande

The Tjun­tjun­t­jara Com­mu­nity has warmly wel­comed the pass­ing of a Bill that will al­low it to seek gov­ern­ment grants for vi­tal health and in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.

The Re­serves (Tjun­tjun­t­jara Com­mu­nity) Bill 2018, which seeks to ex­cise an area of about 78,578ha from the Great Vic­to­ria Desert Na­ture Re­serve to en­able the grant­ing of reg­is­tra­ble ten­ure for the com­mu­nity, passed both Houses of Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day after over­whelm­ing sup­port.

The Tjun­tjun­t­jara com­mu­nity has ex­isted on the western ex­tent of the na­ture re­serve since at least 1988 but has never had a reg­is­tra­ble in­ter­est over the area it oc­cu­pies, or le­gal ac­cess to it.

The lack of for­mal ten­ure has lim­ited the com­mu­nity’s abil­ity to seek in­vest­ment for crit­i­cally re­quired in­fra­struc­ture such as an ex­pan­sion of its health clinic and the build­ing of houses, while also re­strict­ing the com­mu­nity’s pur­suit of on-ground eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties.

Paupiyala Tjarutja Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Mo­ray Ralph said this was fab­u­lous news — and a long time com­ing.

“It’s been in the pipe­line for a while and is not some­thing the Gov­ern­ment rushed through, but it’s fan­tas­tic that it’s fi­nally hap­pened,” he said.

“It’s been very dif­fi­cult for the com­mu­nity to at­tract fund­ing for hous­ing up here like we did re­cently, and this Bill will change that.

“Things are mov­ing ahead, and we are draft­ing a com­mu­nity plan with the Men­zies Shire coun­cil.

“There is quite a lot that’s about to hap­pen, mainly around the whole idea of struc­tur­ing the com­mu­nity so it’s not just dust tracks in the mid­dle of the desert.”

PTAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Mo­ray Ralph.

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