500 signatures reached
To: The Honourable the President and Members of the Legislative Council of New South Wales
Stop the proposed repeal of the Commons Management Act 1989 & Save St Albans Common
The Petition of certain citizens of New South Wales state that:
St Albans Common, granted to early settlers & residents of The Macdonald Valley by Queen Victoria, has been successfully managed and supported since 1824 by valley residents in accordance with the original deed of grant. The Trustees & Commoners have been the custodians of this living heritage for nearly 200 years.
Commons are not Crown Lands. Commons are enshrined in NSW law, culture and history. Commons are for the community, controlled by the community and connected to the community and its greater social conscience.
Your petitioners request that the House will abandon the repeal of the Commons Management Act 1989 & retain well managed, functioning (eligible) Commons under the ACT, such as St Albans Common, whilst improving the current legislation by way of inclusion of a new schedule of ‘eligible’ Commons.
Why is this important?
BACKGROUND TO PETITION
St Albans Common, granted to early settlers & residents of The Macdonald Valley by Queen Victoria, has been successfully managed since 1824 by valley residents in accordance with the original deed of grant. The Trustees & Commoners have been the custodians of this living heritage for nearly 200 years. Commons are not Crown Lands. Commons are enshrined in NSW law, culture and history. Commons are for the community, controlled by the community and connected to the community and its greater social conscience.
Our original deed of grant states that The Governor & Legislative Council of NSW passed “An Act to enable Trustees of Commons in NSW to have perpetual succession & to empower them to Regulate the use of such lands….” It further states- …. “such Trustees as aforesaid, & their Successors as aforesaid FOR EVER as a Common to permit the use & benefit of the same….” What is meant by that? Clearly it was the intention then, that no-one in the future could override the intent of the original grant.
In November 2016, the NSW State Government introduced The CROWN LAND MANAGEMENT BILL which sought to consolidate all public land and remove Commons as a separate category. A solid effort was made to defer the Bill, unfortunately the Bill was passed.
Fortunately, the Commons Management Act was excluded from the Bill & ensuing Act.
Less than 3 months later & here we are with a Fact Sheet & new proposal to repeal the Commons Management Act 1989 & abolish Commons. Again, for inclusion in the (now) Crown Lands Management ACT 2016. Despite its’ exclusion being comprehensively argued & voted in favour unanimously by The Upper House on Nov 8/9 2016.
The Department of Industry- Lands, has confirmed its proposal that Commons, as presently constituted, will be effectively abolished and the Government will appoint ‘Land Managers’ instead of elected Trustees. And what of the Commoners and the Common Roll...well they simply won't exist anymore and nearly 200 years NSW history will be wiped out with the stroke of a pen. There can be no justification for this.
You can't strip away the legislation that governs a Common, keeping the name in token and still claim it’s a Common. A hallmark of a Common which distinguishes it from other categories of land, being 'an elected board of 'Trustees' holding the Common as Trustee for the Commoners and Community will be abolished. Again, there is no justification for doing this.
Commons should not be controlled by Land Managers appointed by the Minister.
The Commons Management Act should not be abolished. To do so would be to fundamentally undermine the social contract between the St Albans/ Macdonald Valley Community, the St Albans Common Trust and the State of NSW.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
SIGN THIS DIGITAL PETITION
ALSO SIGN OUR PAPER PETITION to be eligible to be tabled in Parliament.
At these locations
- Settlers Arms Inn St Albans
- Wisemans Ferry Grocer Cafe
- St Albans Folk Festival St Albans Village Fri 21-Sun 23 May
- Convict 100 Mountain Bike Ride St Albans Village 6 May
DOWNLOAD the petition to sign and collect more signatures.
Sign & post to
Save St Albans Common
C/O Tony Simpson Lawyers
5/5557 Old Northern Rd
WISEMANS NSW 2775
For more information, updates, St Albans Common submission etc