The NSW Aboriginal Land Council has called for government funding to stop the closure of important community-based facilities at Redfern’s National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.
Locals were rocked by abrupt news on Monday revealing the breakdown in handover from the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation to the state’s land council resulting in the laying off of staff and dissolving of operations at the NCIE’s fitness and aquatic centre.
Politicians including Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore voiced their disappointment at the news.
In a statement on Friday, NSWALC said it had expected the ILSC would continue to fund the facility under any agreement.
They stipulated the tenancies of groups using the site would be transferred into their ownership without disruption.
Amid community protests, planned to extend into next week, NSWALC chairman Danny Chapman said the community support comes as no surprise given the centre’s critical services provided to the area.
“The community support for NCIE is not surprising, as it has been a central hub for the Redfern Community for over a decade,” Mr Chapman said.
“NSWALC is equally disappointed that we haven’t been able to reach an agreement with the ILSC on funding for the ongoing provision of services.
“We want this resolved as soon as possible, so we can focus on the next chapter for the site.”
ILSC acknowledged on Wednesday the distress caused by the announcement and efforts to work with the new owners to continue services at the centre.
NSWALC will seek secure third party provisions pending the final outcome.
The organisation intends to continue consultation with stakeholders and the wider community along with positive conversations with the ILSC to meet a resolution.