The West Australian Government has revealed plans for an Aboriginal and environmental park on the site of the Swan Valley Nyoongar Community.


The Government closed the community in June after allegations of sexual and physical abuse over many years.

The state indigenous-affairs minister, John Kobelke, says the environmental park was one of four options the Government considered.

He says the others were a sport centre for youths, an aged-care facility and an Aboriginal hospice but the Government wanted something the community could share with others.

“We now want to make sure that we move away from the very sorry tales that have really been the past at this site to one which is something in the control of the Nyoongar people, where there is a range of heritage and cultural developments to be a centre for Nyoongar culture and heritage, but also one which they can share with the wider community.”

The abuse allegations came at a coroner’s inquest into the death of an Aboriginal teenager, Susan Taylor, at the camp in 1999.

The WA Government appointed an administrator to the 14-hectare site and called for recommendations on how to use the land and buildings in the future.

The chairman of the ATSIC Nyoongar Regional Council, Gordon Cole, says the new plan represents a big opportunity for Aboriginal people in Perth.

“When we look in the whole region, I guess there’s not a great deal of cultural awareness or a cultural park or anything that raises Nyoongar culture to maybe even a tourist market where there’s opportunity for tourists to get some understanding as well. I think the potential for that’s there. Again, it’s got to be worked out in conjunction with the community.”

The Government is setting up an Aboriginal Custodian Committee to develop the site in consultation with the Nyoongar community in Perth.

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