A proposal to build a bush healing farm for Aboriginal people on rural land in the Tidbinbilla Valley has been approved by the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman.
“I have used my call-in powers to approve the development application because I consider the proposal will provide a substantial public benefit, particularly for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” Mick said.
The ‘call-in’ will allow timely construction of several new buildings including a communal building, two residential pods with four bedrooms, and associated works.
“The farm will not be a place for medical treatment or to detoxify. Rather, it will be a place free of drugs and alcohol, with a strong focus on Aboriginal spirituality and culture. It will include a strong focus on agriculture and connection to the land.”
This development is located approximately 8 km west of Tuggeranong on a rural property chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Straight elders who saw the farm as an ideal place for rehabilitation in a culturally sensitive environment, away from alcohol and drugs and the distractions of the city.
The community contributed a combined total of 52 submissions during two periods of public notification, first in June 2012 for the development application and secondly, in March 2013 for the amended application.
“I acknowledge the concerns raised by some members of the community and I am satisfied that the many conditions I have imposed, as part of my approval of this development will address the majority of the objections.
“I plan to keep my use of call in powers to a minimum; however this development supports some of the most vulnerable members of our community with the assistance that is required,” Minister Gentleman concluded.