With the never-ending pressure on Dharug Nura from governments and developers, DSMG has been busy making submissions to various inquiries and processes. You catch up on what we've been saying here:
Naming the new city at the Aerotropolis on Cabrogal Nura (August 2021) – We made a submission to the NSW Geographical Names Board to oppose naming the new city being built on Cabrogal Nura at the Aerotropolis at Bringelly ‘Bradfield’ after the engineer who designed the Harbour Bridge, but who had no connection to the area. We said that Sydney’s cultural landscapes are already overwhelmed with place names that celebrate and entrench the markers and makers of colonial history in ways that are anathema to DSMG’s commitment to truth-telling, healing and learning and that the Names Board should put in place a respectful process to find an appropriate name that meets the criteria of the Geographical Names Board and the cultural protocols of the Dha
rug First Nation. Read DSMG's submission here:
Parramatta Gaol Development Application (August 2021) - The Parramatta Gaol site was given to Deerubbin LALC under the NSW Land Rights Act. This place is a significant place for Dharug people. It is a place that is part of a long history of erasure, denial and abuse of Dharug yura, Nura and rights that seems to be renewed with every step in history’s march to trample over and transform Dharug Nura for commercial benefit. The Development Application avoided using the word Dharug (or Darug) and in doing so, DSMG argued, it failed to acknowledge or adhere to the common protocols of Indigenous Australia of acknowledging custodians. Read DSMG's submission here.
Parramatta CBD Infrastructure Contributions Plan (September 2021) – In the Parramatta CBD intensive and insensitive commercial development has prioritised development over sustainable justice, wellbeing and environment. DSMG supported Parramatta Council’s plan to increase developer levies to increase the community’s ability to respond top insensitive and inappropriate overdevelopment of the CBD, but recognised that none of the systems in place will look after Nura. We recommended the plan should include a specific commitment to “Renewing and Supporting Dharug presence on Country” in the budget plan for use of the contribution. Read DSMG's submission here.
Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Bill (October 2021) – This was a submission on the proposed amalgamation of most of Sydney’s most important public parklands under a single trust. We a
rgued that this would increase the distance between decision-makers and local communities, made no provision for Dharug custodians to be recognised and included and created risks of privatisation by stealth. Read DSMG's submission here.
Draft Greater Sydney Water Plan (November 2021) – We argued that the draft plan to manage water continued the profound misunderstanding and mismanagement of water in Dharug Nura since colonial occupation. We advocated a strategy that would ensure that management of Sydney’s water “must begin, end and be accountable to Country” Read DSMG's submission here.
Draft Camellia-Rosehill Place Strategy (March 2022) – The rapid development of areas of Western Sydney places huge pressure on Dharug community to respond to every proposal against unrealistic and developer-focused timeframes. This plan refers to the redevelopment of the Camellia-Rosehill area along Parramatta River. The plan says it delivers on the principles of the Designing With Country approach to urban development, but we felt that the involvement of Dharug community in the planning risked being tokenistic, late and inadequate. We supported the value of an Aboriginal Community Reference Group as the plan develops, but said the we fear that rather than genuinely recognising and supporting Dharug stewardship of Nura, the Draft Place Strategy will continue the colonial vision that allows a generic and token acknowledgement of “Aboriginal people”, but denies the realities of protocols of knowledge and responsibility for Dharug Country. Read DSMG's submission here.