The North West Land Trust is forging ahead with plans to turn its recent acquisition of land into economic and job opportunities for local mob.
In late 2014, the North West Land Trust – comprising 17 Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) including Baradine, Brewarrina, Cobar, Collarenebri, Coonamble, Goodooga, Lightning Ridge, Moree, Mungindi, Murrawari, Narrabri, Nulla Nulla, Pilliga, Toomelah, Walgett, Wee Waa and Weilmoringle – reclaimed ownership of four rural properties.
Since the hand-back, Kaituna and Uno, near Coonamble, and Nutty Springs, north of Bourke, have been leased for commercial farming.
Calooma Station, also north of Bourke, has been retained to provide economic and healing opportunities for Aboriginal people.
North West Land Corporation Interim Chair Rena Clements says that over the last 12 months, restoration works are underway to prepare Calooma for public use.
“The homestead, shearing shed, tanks, pumps, pipes, bore and windmills have all required a significant makeover, providing ongoing work and training for local community members.
“Work continues on fencing and renovating the shearers’ quarters providing job opportunities in construction, maintenance, sheeting, painting and plumbing.
“Goat harvesting has started and a business plan has also been developed to clear and sell firewood for sale locally.”
As well as restoring the property to its former glory as an agricultural enterprise, the Trust has plans to convert the 20-bed shearers’ quarters into a base for healing and cultural use.
Possible uses include intervention programs and cultural events and the Trust is working with a range of government, community and educational organisations as well as LALCs.
As a LALC-owned regional enterprise, there are opportunities for LALCs to further their economic development goals by partnering with the North West Land Trust in the areas of mentoring, grant writing, project management expertise and corporate experience.
Anyone interested in participating in restoration activities at Calooma should contact Jacqui Gilligan at Jacqui.email@example.com and on 0412 467 510.
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