The NSW government has committed to transfer the Sydney Harbour island of Me-Mel back to the Indigenous community, as per NSW government’s official website.
In a statement, Sydney premier Dominic Perrottet called the transfer a “personal priority”.
“Returning Me-Mel to the Aboriginal community is the right thing to do, and it helps deliver on my commitment of improving outcomes and opportunities for Aboriginal people across all parts of Government”, he said.
“A big part of my commitment is ensuring the island is remediated before it’s transferred to the Aboriginal community.”
The government has also committed $43 million to maintenance of the island. The money will go towards repairing the island’s buildings and seawalls, upgrading services, removing asbestos and restoring the wharf.
The remediation is expected to take place over the next four years.
Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council Deputy Chair Yvonne Weldon said the transfer was “so long overdue” as per the ABC.
“Me-Mel is a place where we can go to be within our culture, pass culture on to our younger generations and share with other people,” she said to the publication.
In a statement, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said “Me-Mel holds great significance to Aboriginal people, including in the creation story Boora Birra, where the great eel spirit created the water courses known today as Sydney Harbour.”
According to The Guardian, the Me-mel transfer committee includes Aboriginal people and representatives of NSW government agencies.