For the past 230 years since NSW was invaded, First Nations people have been subject to colonisation, violence and disempowerment.
That’s why justice for First Nations peoples must be front and centre of the work of the next NSW Parliament.
Unlike the two major parties, the Greens believe that the people who know best how to look after First Nations children, deliver justice and economic empowerment in First Nations communities and treat the land with respect are the people who have been doing it for 60,000 years – and that is the First Nations peoples of this country.
Githabul Return of Country
In August 2018, representatives of the Githabul Tribe and NSW conservation groups signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the management of public state forests over which the Githabul Tribe hold Native Title rights over in the upper Clarence and Richmond Rivers catchments.
As the Greens candidate for Lismore, Sue Higginson is fully supportive of this initiative which would see the care and control of 29,700ha of state forests land handed to the Githabul People from the NSW Government.
The Greens are committed to seeing the following action:
- Transferring care and control of 29,700ha State Forests for which Githabul Native Title rights are recognised, from the NSW government to the Githabul Tribe.
- Assisting in preparation of a comprehensive Plan of Management to safeguard conservation and cultural values and prioritise rehabilitation works.
- In concert with the Commonwealth funding a comprehensive 15 year rehabilitation plan to arrest and repair forest dieback on Crown lands as part of a Githabul Caring for Country program.
- Creating more NPWS positions and training for Githabul Working on Country in National Parks in the Kyogle area.
“Our public forests here in the Northern Rivers are sick and dying. Conservative estimates say that 7,151 ha (24%) of Githabul State Forests and 6,385 ha (8%) of Githabul National Parks are significantly affected due to logging spreading lantana through the forests and initiating Bell Miner Associated Dieback (BMAD).
The Githabul love their lands and are deeply connected to them. They fought for their Native Title rights and in 2007 they were granted title over 1120 sq km in 9 National Parks and 13 State Forests in the headwaters of the Richmond and Clarence Rivers.
The Githabul entered into a Land Use Agreement with the Forestry Corporation over these lands, but nothing that they thought would happen under that agreement has happened. Forestry has never consulted the Githabul about the care or control of their Native Title State Forest lands.
After years of watching the Forestry Corporation continue to destroy the forests in 2016 the Githabul blockaded and stopped the logging – now they want to repair those lands and I want to see that happen.”