Munro v Minister for Lands and the Lands Administration Ministerial Corporation

The Minister for Lands consented to the sale of Taylor Oval to Fabcot Pty Ltd (Woolworths) to facilitate the development of the site for a Big W department store on 28 July 2011.

Taylor Oval is the most central rugby league and cricket ground in Moree proximate to schools in Moree and the centre of town. Taylor Oval is also a significant site for the local Aboriginal community who believe it is situated near a burial ground for the Gomeroi nation. Bodies of Aboriginal persons were excavated on the site in 1903 and the ashes of Cheeky McIntosh, an Aboriginal leader and elder were scattered on the oval in the 1970's. The site has also been important for reconciliation in the town as an area where both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people have mixed over the generations, and which is historic sporting facility.

EDO NSW is acting for a representative of the Moree Murri Taskforce, Lyall Munro who is challenging the decision of the Minister for Lands to approve the sale, and the decision of the Lands Administration Ministerial Corporation to consent to sell. The case focuses on whether the Minister for Lands and the Lands Administration Ministerial Corporation has complied with the requirements of the Crown Lands Act 1989.

The applicant Lyall Munro is seeking a declaration that the decision of the Minister for Lands to consent to sell Taylor Oval is in breach of the Crown Land Act 1989 (NSW) and is void and of no effect and an order restraining the Minister for Lands from taking any step to sell Taylor Oval in reliance on his purported decision.

The applicant is further seeking a declaration that the decision of the Minister for Lands as trustee of Taylor Oval that it is desirable sell Taylor Oval is in breach of the Crown Land Act 1989 (NSW) and is void and of no effect.

Finally the applicant is seeking an order restraining Minister for Lands and Lands Administration Ministerial Corporation from taking any step to sell Taylor Oval in reliance on its purported decision.

More information about the concerns of the Aboriginal community can be found in an article written by former EDO NSW Principal Solicitor Kirsty Ruddock in Eureka Street.