THERE was tension in the air at Cabbage Tree Island yesterday as NSW police executed an eviction notice on Marcia Anderson for failing to pay her rent to Jali Aboriginal Land Council.
THERE was tension in the air at Cabbage Tree Island yesterday as NSW police executed an eviction notice on Marcia Anderson for failing to pay her rent to Jali Aboriginal Land Council. Jay Cronan

Family battles Land Council

CABBAGE Tree Island’s Anderson sisters are standing firm in their fight against eviction from their family home.

All the siblings were raised on the home site by their mother Winifred, whose father John Jack Cook actually owned Cabbage Tree Island in the late 1800s.

That was before the Aboriginal Protection Board revoked his land title.

Now the siblings are rallying around their sister Marcia, who yesterday faced eviction from the home her mother occupied after falling $4000 behind in her rent payments to the Jali Aboriginal Land Council.

After a meeting with the Land Council a fortnight ago, Marcia has started paying her rent, plus $100 additional every two weeks, in an attempt to pay back the debt.

Despite two days of phone calls to the Jali Aboriginal Land Council’s CEO Veronica Williams, there has been no comment made to the media.

But yesterday the Land Council’s property manager arrived on the island with a contingent of police and a locksmith to remove Marcia and the disabled man she looks after, and prevent her returning to the family home.

Thanks to the united front of the Anderson sisters that action was prevented, temporarily.

Marcia’s sister Susan, 61, gave the property manager a jab in the ribs when he stepped too close.

It is understood the property manager, who works for the Jali Land Council, yesterday gave a statement to the police.

The Anderson family is not alone in its battle against Jali, with nine other families verbally told they must go.

Most of the people were raised in older-style family homes that sat on those same home sites.

“What land council would kick elders out of houses they’ve lived in all their life?” asked Marcia’s niece Leanne Anderson. “Jali is supposed to help people in the community.”



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