Chris Ingrey, executive director of the La Pérouse Aboriginal Lands Council, said members welcomed the determination.
“We are delighted with the return of the land and happy to have a presence in the region,” he said. “This is an important question.”
Mr Ingrey said the land council has yet to determine the future use of the site.
Sydney Independent MP Alex Greenwich said he “could not be prouder” that the land has been returned to the local Aboriginal Lands Council.
“We have been working with the local community for over a decade to ensure that this important site is no longer traded as a commodity from one investor to another,” Mr. Greenwich said.
Woollahra’s council had previously expressed interest in reclaiming land to use for public recreation, citing a strong demand for access to green spaces and community amenities in the densely populated area.
Independent adviser Harriet Price said the determination was long but welcome. “This historic decision finally removes this important green space from the hands of private business interests,” she said.
“The community of Paddington will be proud of the recognition of the importance of this land to the local Aboriginal community and look forward to its future use in connection with this importance. “
The bowling club site has had a turbulent past, including being the subject of a corruption investigation by the Independent Commission against Corruption.
A lease on the site is held by Quarry Street Pty Limited. The sole director of the company is Tasmanian businesswoman Jan Cameron, founder of the Kathmandu adventure clothing company, according to Australian Securities and Investments Commission records.
The company was previously owned by flamboyant banker Jon Agdemis, who told the Herald in 2018, the site could be transformed into a wellness area.
Ms Cameron is fighting criminal charges brought by the corporate regulator over allegations she filed a misleading statement regarding her interest in the infant formula company Bellamy’s. She has pleaded not guilty and the case is ongoing.
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