Goat Island. Sydney Harbour

PHOTO: Goat Island. Sydney Harbour

  • Goat Island in Sydney Harbour will be handed back to Aboriginal locals 
  • The island, known as Me-Mel, in the indigenous language is a heritage-listed site
  • One colonial building ‘The Queen’s Magazine’ was used as a gunpowder store 
  • The island is off-limits except for guided tours by the National Parks Service  

A Sydney Harbour island is returning to Aboriginal hands with the NSW government committing $43 million to its clean-up and repair.

The transfer of Me-Mel, or Goat Island, to its traditional owners is a ‘personal priority’, Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Sunday.

‘A big part of my commitment is ensuring the island is remediated before it’s transferred to the Aboriginal community,’ he said in a statement.

The funding will help repair seawalls and buildings, improve wharf access, upgrade services and remove contaminants like asbestos over the next four years.

Goat Island in Sydney Harbour (pictured) will be given back to the local Aboriginal tribe

Goat Island in Sydney Harbour (pictured) will be given back to the local Aboriginal tribe 

The island features a number of colonial buildings which were constructed using sandstone mined on the island (pictured)

The island features a number of colonial buildings which were constructed using sandstone mined on the island (pictured) 

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is calling for expressions of interest to join a committee making recommendations about the transfer of Me-Mel to Aboriginal ownership.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Franklin said the Me-Mel Transfer Committee includes Aboriginal people and representatives of NSW government agencies.

‘Me-Mel holds great significance to Aboriginal people, including in the creation story Boora Birra, where the great eel spirit created the water courses known today as Sydney Harbour,’ he said.

READ MORE VIA THE DAILY MAIL

Don't be shy! Have your say....