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Redfern Indigenous hub's future remains unclear two months on from closure call fiasco

Jarred Cross -

Key Redfern community leaders claim they are being shut out of conversations around the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence as questions continue to be raised around its future.

It follows a lengthy period of uncertainty after a botched handover of ownership from the Government's Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation to the NSW Aboriginal Land Council threatened to close facilities at the centre.

Immediate community protest saw an interim deal struck between the bodies to ensuring the doors remained open.

In the weeks following, grassroots collective the Redfern Aboriginal Alliance plead for their involvement in consultations about the NCIE's long-term prospects.

The three parties later met after former Aboriginal social justice commissioner Mick Gooda stepped forward as a mediator.

A joint meeting between the state land council, ILSC, RAA and Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council is scheduled for October 10, but RAA claims it has been left in the dark.

"After copping it from community and the media, NSWALC had one meeting with us, but since then it's taken nearly a month to agree to follow up talks," RAA spokesperson Shane Phillips said in a statement on Friday.

The success of NCIE carries particular weight for Mr Phillips as chief executive of Indigenous support and mentorship organisation Tribal Warrior.

Alongside a host of local groups his business is largely run on NCIE grounds.

Months on from the centre being placed in limbo, he's unsure if operators were genuine about wanting community influence in planning ahead.

"There's no urgency," Mr Phillips said.

"The Aboriginal community of Redfern have repeatedly said that we want to be constructive partners in the development of a site that is in the heart of our community.

"We're concerned that the state land council wants to impose its own vision on the community rather than work with us."

NSWALC said they did not know why RAA chose to release the statement.


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