Collie shire council votes to agree with Department request on Noongar Land Estate

Jacinta CantatoreBunbury Herald
The portions of Palmer Road and Reserve 7136 to be rededicated.
Camera IconThe portions of Palmer Road and Reserve 7136 to be rededicated. Credit: Collie Shire

Collie Shire Council has passed a motion which could lead to 19ha of culturally significant land being returned to the region’s First Nations people.

The motion came after the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage requested that the Shire comment on a proposal to dedicate portions of Palmer Road and Reserve 7136 for the “use and benefit of Aboriginal people”.

The proposal included granting a management order over the land to the Native Title Party’s Trustee.

The council passed the motion unanimously, setting in motion the process to dedicate and repurpose sections of the Palmer Road reserve.

In a report to the council, town planner Isabel Fry recommended that the council inform the department it had no objections to the rededication of the land.

The report to the council also recommended that the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions be consulted on the process because it managed sections of tracks in the area.

The sections of Palmer Road to be rededicated do not provide access to any private properties, nor do they contain any Shire services or structures of any kind.

“The Shire also has no intention to construct and dedicate Palmer Road as a Shire managed road,” the report reads.

The environmental and heritage value of the move was highlighted as a significant factor in supporting the motion.

“The utilisation of the reserve as part of the Noongar Land Estate has the potential to benefit the environmental and heritage values of the area,” the report states.

“It is therefore recommended that the Shire provide advice to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, indicating no objection to the proposal to include the subject sites in the Noongar Land Estate, for the use and benefit of Aboriginal people, with a management order granted to the Native Title Party’s Trustee.”

The Shire was contacted for comment.

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