LAND CLAIM WIN: Tweed Local Aboriginal Land Council founding members Desrae Rotumah, Dale Williams and Paula Combo recreate the scene of when their land title claim over Lot 490 at South Kingscliff was first announced.
LAND CLAIM WIN: Tweed Local Aboriginal Land Council founding members Desrae Rotumah, Dale Williams and Paula Combo recreate the scene of when their land title claim over Lot 490 at South Kingscliff was first announced. Alina Rylko

Lot 490 to be ‘cherished’

THE Tweed Aboriginal Local Land Council is relieved to finally receive the title deeds to Kingscliff’s Lot 490.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams was in Tweed on Friday to hand over the paperwork to declare the 26ha beachside block, potentially worth millions, following its successful claim under the Aboriginal Lands Rights Act.

Tweed Aboriginal Local Land Council president Des Williams hinted at possible commercial development on the site, but not before the land council fully considers all options.

“We were the first people here and ownership should revert to us,” Mr Williams said.

“It was a piece of land that we thought we would never get hold of, and it was just like a gem coming to us as it did. There are some people that got their noses out of joint, but that’s what happens when everyone goes for one goal – someone’s got to win and someone has to lose. We were extremely grateful for it coming back so soon.

“We’ll cherish it for a while before we decide what we’re going to do with it.”

Land Council member Desrae Rotumah said it was a relief to see the land claim within her lifetime.

“All of our land is spiritual to us. Our land rules us,” she said.

“We’ve got a young community that need to know who they are and this is their land, and just getting that one little block back was significant.

“It will give them a sense of belonging, and ownership of it would give them something to look forward to and to work towards something good for the whole of the community to use.

“I don’t think our council has considered anything on it at the moment, our council is just so happy to have it for now.”

Lot 490 is the last remaining beachside block in Kingscliff, nestled between the town centre and Salt, off Casuarina Way.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest with Tweed Aboriginal Land Council president Les Williams.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest with Tweed Aboriginal Land Council president Les Williams. Alina Rylko

The site contained sacred indigenous sites until historic mineral sand mining in the region in the 1950s.

It is still considered to have spiritual and environmental significance, with significant revegetation by Dune Care.

Desrae Rotumah, Des Williams, Dale Williams and Paula Combo celebrate their successful land title claim over Lot 490.
Desrae Rotumah, Des Williams, Dale Williams and Paula Combo celebrate their successful land title claim over Lot 490. Alina Rylko


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