The remote Aboriginal community of Tjuntjuntjara, situated some 690 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie, will benefit from new legislation that will facilitate investment in vital health and infrastructure projects within the community.
Under the Reserves (Tjuntjuntjara Community) Bill 2018, an area of 78,578 hectares will be excised from the ‘A’ Class Great Victoria Desert Nature Reserve, to enable the granting of appropriate and registrable tenure for the community.
Enactment of the Bill follows a State Government commitment to support the community’s development, and improve the current circumstance and future for Aboriginal people living in remote communities.
The Tjuntjuntjara community has existed on the western extent of the nature reserve since at least 1988 but has never had a registrable interest over the area it occupies.
The lack of formal tenure has previously limited the community’s ability to seek investment for critically required infrastructure, while also restricting its pursuit of on-ground economic activities.
The Bill follows the State Government’s recent capital injection of $23.8 million to significantly upgrade housing, power, water and sewerage facilities at Tjuntjuntjara.
As stated by Lands Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The State Government is continuing its work toward building better futures for Aboriginal people living in remote communities.
“The new legislation is the result of intensive consultation over an extended period between the Spinifex native title holders, Tjuntjuntjara community, Central Desert Native Title Services, and a range of government agencies.
“This Bill will bring significant changes to the Tjuntjuntjara community to develop the land to meet their growing demands. Having the right infrastructure and access to essential services will greatly improve living standards for the community and create jobs.”