Land rights talks



NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Milton Orkopoulos was in Grafton yesterday to meet with members of the NSW Aboriginal Alliance Northern Zone to discuss the review of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (ALRA).

The Alliance members, who together represent 25,000 Aboriginal people from Forster to Tweed Heads and west to Gunnedah, met the minister to raise their concerns and issues regarding the review.

A taskforce was recently established to review the ALRA to see what changes need to be made.

Alliance acting-chairman Michael Rodgers said group members held many concerns about the review and believed the minister needed to hear their voice.

"We have grave concerns about the make-up of the taskforce of the review," he said.

Mr Orkopoulos said his attendance at the meeting was an important part of the consultation process.

"The consultation that is taking place now and that is going to be rolled out over the next couple of weeks is important to form what the Aboriginal community wants in terms of legislation that governs their operation," he said.

nMEANWHILE a new arts and multicultural centre designed by Bundjalung artists is one step closer to reality after a meeting this week. Built in the shape of a turtle and housed in Grafton, the centre will teach people about indigenous land, art and culture.



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