The 'turning of the soil' that will take place at the Bowraville Mission on Friday is the result of years of patient effort by Bowraville Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Phil Hall and other LALCs, dating back to 2013 when the NSW Government committed to providing services to 10 missions and reserves in NSW.
That promise was finally delivered in March this year when the Minister for Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, announced the Roads to Home Grant Program ... with Bowraville LALC securing $2.2 million and Nambucca Heads $800,000.
The funding will allow significant infrastructure upgrades to the Mish in Bowraville and Bellwood Rd, Nambucca Heads, including improving access for essential services such as rubbish collection, solving road safety issues and reducing the risks of natural disasters such as flooding.
One of the biggest changes at Bowraville will be the transfer of title to place the 22 houses and four units on separate titles - up until now they have been on what is legally considered to be one parcel of land.
"The first step is to get our subdivision approved by the council and then we will get moving on the roads, the sewage, stormwater and lighting," Mr Hall said.
"We will be paying to kerb, gutter and shoulder seal Gumbaynggirr Rd and we have asked the council to repair the road itself ... we want it sealed up to Dotti Close."
Mr Hall said the project would also address irregularities such as stormwater and sewer lines that have not been correctly placed or connected as well as moving fences to match boundaries.
"We also need to have the water meters relocated inside those boundaries."
At their council meeting on July 16, Nambucca Valley councillors voted in favour of funding the sealing of the road as far as the Durri Medical Centre. This has since been amended to take the work up to Dotti Close.
Council's General Manager, Michael Coulter, said the proposal to only seal the road to the Medical Centre was due to a misunderstanding.
"Phil Hall has since clarified the request for the work to continue up to Dotti Close. Council staff is currently looking at the pavement to determine what work needs to be done." Mr Coulter said.
The grant also includes training and employment opportunities for the local community.
Mr Hall said 12 residents were now ticketed from a number of TAFE training courses.
"All the training courses are done, so crews are ready to work here or on other sites under the program or the Coffs Bypass when it begins."
Nambucca Heads LALC CEO Michael Donovan said the program of work for Bellwood Rd was being prepared.
"We will do the kerb and guttering of the other side of the road, opposite the houses. We also want to open another subdivision that will allow more houses to be built," Mr Donovan said.
The Nambucca Heads LALC currently manages 31 houses, Bowraville LALC 51 houses and Unkya LALC 15.