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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The Regional Indigenous Land and Sea Strategy (RILSS) for the South-East region represents an additional, more focused layer to the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) Group’s strategic direction as laid out in the National Indigenous Land and Sea Strategy (NILSS) for the period 2019 to 2022. These are the first national and regional land and sea strategies that include water-based activities, following from legislative changes to the ILSC and its role.

Key Findings:

  • This region has the largest estimated population of Indigenous Australians of all the ILSC regions, approximately 311,000 people in 2011. Most Indigenous people in this region live in major urban or regional centres. In 2016, the approximate capital cities Indigenous populations were: Sydney 75,500; Brisbane 56,500 Melbourne 23,500; Adelaide 18,500, Hobart 8,500, Canberra 6,500.
  • Threats to the environment arise from the scale and intensity of development and urbanisation; they include soil erosion, habitat fragmentation, excess salinity in soil and water from irrigation practices and land clearing, logging, and invasive introduced plant and animal species.
  • Climate change is likely to increase average temperatures, continue the trend of decreasing winter rainfall, increase the intensity of extreme rainfall events, produce harsher fire-weather conditions and extend the fire season. In many areas of this region the proximity of forest to development threatens both life and property from fires during warmer months.
  • The diversity and relative wealth of this region presents many Indigenous economicdevelopment opportunities in the areas of urban development, agribusiness, tourism and water-based activities.
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