Councillors against hand-backs, dual naming

Land. Circular Head councillors have agreed to seek support from other councils in urging the state government to not proceed with land hand-backs or dual naming without consulting local communities first.

Cr Ashley Popowski spoke passionately about the topic at Circular Head Council’s monthly meeting on Thursday, citing numerous reasons for the motion, including concerns of potential discrimination and mismanagement.

Above all, he believes land hand-backs and dual naming do “nothing to aid reconciliation”.

“It’s causing discrimination within [aboriginal] groups. It may well be causing a problem that can’t be rectified,” he said.

“It’s not fair to hand back land in our municipality without consulting the local community.”

Cr Popowski said he believes previous land hand-backs to be going against what they are supposed to achieve, using Mt Cameron West which was handed back in 1995 and renamed preminghana as an example.

“They’re (Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council) not looking after the area and they’ve restricted access to aboriginal and non-aboriginal people,” he said.

“We’ve got a reserve system that allows all people access and protects the heritage values of the area.”

Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Di Baldock agreed with the motion.

“I agree that local community consultation should occur especially around land hand-backs,” she said.

“I also feel that dual naming needs to be considered by local community around the appropriateness of language.

“Too often things occur, within the community, with no consultation whatsoever.”

The motion has been submitted to the Local Government Association of Tasmania, to be discussed at its general meeting next month.

CORRECTION

The Circular Head Council has issued a correction to an article published in the Circular Head Chronicle five months ago (‘Councillors against land hand-backs, dual naming’, Wednesday April 22). The article suggested that the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (TALSC) was responsible for the management of Preminghana. TALSC has not been managing Preminghana since September 2013. At that time the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, which holds title to Aboriginal land returned by the state government, decided to transfer the management of Preminghana to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

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