Plans for a new skatepark and recreation precinct in Byron Bay will go ahead this year thanks to Bundjalung of Byron Bay Corporation (Arakwal) RNTBC and Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council, who have generously agreed to make land in the Sandhills Reserve available for the project.
In 2019, the Federal Court of Australia recognised the native title rights and interests of the Bundjalung People of Byron Bay in and around the Byron Bay area. Arakwal Corporation holds these rights and interests on trust for the Bundjalung People of Byron Bay, and represents the traditional owners of the Byron Bay area, the Arakwal People.
“The cultural significance of the Sandhills site is the backdrop to the Skate Park story,” Byron Shire Council’s General Manager, Mark Arnold, said.
“The land being made available is first and foremost a culturally significant area. Development in and around the land does not detract from the area’s cultural significance,” he said.
This exciting project would not have been possible without collaboration between Arakwal Corporation under the Native Title Act 1992 (Cth), Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council under the Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW), NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Department of Planning and Environment Crown Lands and Byron Shire Council.
“We are extremely grateful to the Bundjalung of Byron Bay Corporation (Arakwal) RNTBC, Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council, and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for their support for the skatepark project,” Council’s General Manager, Mark Arnold said.
“The Recreation Precinct will be an important community space that celebrates its cultural significance through art, landscape and language,” he said.
The Skate Park will cater for all ages and abilities and will include pathways linking to Main Beach, Middleton Street and beyond, including plans to connect it to the Arakwal Cultural Centre site.
“Arakwal Corporation and Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council have said they would like to continue working with Council on this project and we are grateful for their expertise and guidance,” Mr Arnold said.