Media release 24 August 2015

Pemulwuy Project update – Supreme Court orders trespassers to leave the Block

24 August 2015

The Supreme Court of New South Wales today issued orders requiring people trespassing on land owned by the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) in Redfern to vacate.
The court’s decision will allow a landmark development to proceed on the land, known as the Block.

AHC Chairperson Alisi Tutuila said trespassers had prevented work starting on the Pemulwuy Project, that will significantly benefit both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Redfern and the broader community.

“For about 16 months, the tent embassy has been on the site owned by the Aboriginal Housing Company,” Ms Tutuila said.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to seek a resolution from the courts, but unfortunately we’d reached a deadlock in negotiations.

“We fully respect the right of people to protest, just as we hope those occupying the land respect an owner’s right to be able to access their property.

“It’s important that we don’t overlook that the planned development of the site includes 62 affordable housing units for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as businesses and community facilities that will benefit the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community”, Ms Tutuila said.

In February 2015 the AHC issued a trespass notice to members of the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE), led by Ms Jenny Munro, who are trespassing on the Block. In June this year the AHC appeared in the Supreme Court seeking directions for the filing of a defence by the defendant, Ms Munro.

Today the court issued an Order for Possession requiring trespassers to leave the Block.

“We are now looking forward to a major rejuvenation of the Block with the Pemulwuy Project’s emphasis on cultural values, spirituality, housing and employment, that I believe will support a strong and healthy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Redfern,” Ms Tutuila said.

Media enquiries: AHC office 02 9319 1824