|The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council ('Metro') was established under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW) ('the Act'). Its primary objectives are set out in s 51 of the Act - namely, 'to improve, protect and foster the best interests of all Aboriginal persons within the Council’s area and other persons who are members of the Council.'
Metro's core business areas are described as follows:
(a) Culture and Heritage:
Among other roles, Metro's Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Unit is responsible for the conservation of Aboriginal sites and relics in the area (including more than 6,800 registered sites of cultural significance). It also carries out education programs with the broader community, conducts Cultural Heritage Site Assessments for developers and participates in projects for the repatriation of Aboriginal remains.
b) Land Claims
In accordance with the Act, 'Metro’s Land Rights Unit researches and makes claims on vacant crown land within Metro’s boundaries of the greater Sydney metropolitan area. This work has enabled Metro to become the largest single landholder in a number of Sydney local government areas.' Metro also monitors outstanding land claims.
Metro's Property Unit aims 'to equip [Metro's] members with suitable and affordable housing, clean water, heating and decent living conditions.' It is also 'responsible for the management and maintenance of Metro residential and business properties.'
Metro's other business includes Culture and Promotions, Employment and Training, Joint Ventures and Tourism.
Metro is a Public Benevolent Institution that seeks 'funding from various bodies, groups and individuals to run programs that meet the needs of the Aboriginal community within [its] boundaries.'|