BVSC to join native title claim talks

Bega Valley Shire councillors have voted to be involved in discussions around a landmark native title claim that stretches from southern Sydney to the Victorian border.

The South Coast People’s title claim is gathering momentum, with a federal court hearing scheduled.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Bega Valley Shire Council had to decide whether it wanted to be a party to the claim and has until August 29 to notify the federal court of its interest.

Councillors were unanimous in favour of being part of the discussions and will consult closely with the local Indigenous community to make sure their voices are included.

The South Coast people’s claim covers 16,808 sq km, extending south from Bundeena to Eden and west towards Braidwood, and also extends three nautical miles into the ocean. 

Bega Valley Shire is one of six councils affected. 

The claim does not affect freehold land but does extend to national parks, state forests, Crown land and council-managed Crown land and reserves.