Land-use wait continues

SIXTEEN councils and 20,000 people in the Central Country Zone still do not know if an Indigenous Land Use Agreement reached with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) will get the go ahead.

Central Country Zone executive officer Neil Mitchell said the agreement was sent to several Government ministers and departments three months ago for comment.

Mr Mitchell said the agreement, which is crucial to the development of several Shires in WA’s central zone, had received indications of support from the WA Government, including the department responsible for coordinating the information required for a response, the Office of Native Title.

However, he said no real progress had been made, as the Office of Native Title has said it is waiting for responses from the departments involved regarding whether or not the agreement fitted with their procedures and systems.

The Central Country Zone, which had been working on its agreement for two and a half years prior to its presentation to the Government, had been “very hopeful” on hearing the Government’s policy, Mr Mitchell said.

The Central Country Zone believes it contributes one third of the Wheatbelt’s annual 45 per cent of WA agricultural exports.

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