The Land and Environment Court has found the Waverton Bowling Club land (Lot1204 DP 752067) to be claimable land under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and ordered the NSW Government to transfer the land to the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council.
The Bowling Club site is crown land, but has been licensed to Council since the club closed.
The NSW Government refused two Aboriginal land claims in 2020 on the grounds that the site was leased to the Council for use by the community.
In 2021, the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council appealed the decision in the Land & Environment Court on the grounds that the site was not being occupied and used. The Court ruled that decision making about the future use of the site was not sufficiently progressed to make the land unclaimable and the NSW Government has six months to transfer the land ownership to the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council.
Council’s view is that the land should be incorporated back into Waverton Park so that it can be used by the community in perpetuity which is consistent with the current zoning for open space and recreation. The State Government should acquire the land for public open space and recreation from the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, subject to fair and just compensation being paid.
The site should then be transferred to Council along with other lands in Berrys Bay so that open space on the Waverton Peninsula can be managed and maintained cohesively.
Any use outside of open space and recreation or intensification of use would directly contradict the current intention for the land therefore require rezoning.