The Andrews Labor Government is supporting self-determination by releasing full ownership of five properties back to the Aboriginal Victorian community.
When the First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure program first opened, there were 59 properties owned by Aboriginal organisations but also subject to a first mortgage held by the Minister.
This was part of a funding agreement that allowed Aboriginal organisations to make the initial purchase.
While the organisations remain the full legal owners of these properties, a first mortgage means they could not use the capital for future growth.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings announced today that a further five properties that will now have the first mortgages removed after meeting the required financial stability and sound governance checks. They are:
- A Traditional Owner head office in Barmah – Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation
- A cultural site in Sunbury and storage space in Dandenong – Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
- A care centre in Warrnambool – Gunditjmara Aboriginal Corporation
- An aged care facility in Brunswick – Aboriginal Community Elders Service.
The removal of these mortgages gives Aboriginal communities rightful control of their assets and brings the total number of properties with first mortgages removed to 22.
Through this program, Aboriginal organisations have also received $1.54 million in program funding to support repairs and upgrades to their properties.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings
“Decisions affecting Aboriginal Victorians should be driven by Aboriginal Victorians – that’s why we’re removing these first mortgages.”
“This program is one example where we are helping Aboriginal groups to build enterprise, generate growth and plan for the future – for themselves, by themselves.”
Reviewed 30 July 2020