By Carl Pfeiffer
The Gunner Government has received a letter of support to build the National Aboriginal Art Gallery on Anzac Oval from the same Aboriginal corporation it signed an agreement with to release five parcels of land for development.
In two separate press releases issued on Wednesday, the government announced the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation had provided a letter of support to construct the art gallery at Anzac Oval, while also announcing it had signed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the corporation.
The ILUA will see five new parcels of land opened up for residential, commercial and industrial development in exchange for Aboriginal Native Title holders participating in long term economic and social benefits.
There is no exchange of cash in the ILUA deal which instead focuses on “job contracts, training, Aboriginal-led youth programs; cooperative land management and social housing opportunities”.
Families Minister Dale Wakefield said the agreement would “further unlock the potential of Alice Springs, while also recognising the Arrente people”.
“Working with Lhere Artepe on this ILUA shows the cooperation between this government and Native Title holders to deliver more development in Alice Springs,” she said.
Lhere Artepe’s letter of support is a boost for the government’s plans to establish the gallery at the Anzac Hill precinct, but Alice Springs Town Council is still likely to oppose the move.
Earlier this month Minister Wakefield said her government would compulsorily acquire Anzac Oval to build the gallery in the precinct if council did not release the land.
Council responded by saying it would fight any attempts to compulsorily acquire the oval.
Councillor Eli Melky said Lhere Artepe’s letter included supporting the government’s plans to build the gallery on part of Anzac Oval, meaning it was likely council would continue to fight the move.
“Council has voted to oppose any attempts to compulsory acquire the land or build part of the gallery on Anzac Oval,” he said.
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