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KLC new office complex officially opened for business

Aug 04, 2015

The opening of the new Sebastian-Watson buildings marks a significant point in the organisation's history.

The Kimberley Land Council today celebrated the official opening of its new office complex in Broome, cementing the strong and permanent future of Kimberley Aboriginal people.

The $15 million state of the art building brings all of the organisation’s Broome operations under the one roof and includes office and storage space for up to 120 staff. Other features include adaptable conference facilities, meeting rooms and a specially designed archive and storage space to protect the KLC’s historical documents and library resources.

It also boasts strong environmental design elements including solar power arrays, small lighting zones to limit energy consumption and sustainable building materials. It is the first building outside of Perth to achieve best practice environmental standards after being awarded the 4 Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

KLC CEO Nolan Hunter said the office opening marked a significant point in the organisation’s history and as such would be named in honour of founders and cultural advisers Mr John Watson and Mr Frank Sebastian, who is sadly no longer with us. 

“The KLC was borne out of the famous Noonkanbah dispute when Kimberley Aboriginal people, including our founders Mr Watson and Mr Sebastian stood up for our land rights,’’ he said.

“The first meeting of the KLC was held under a makeshift shelter out at Noonkanbah Station in 1978. But because of the guts, sheer determination and drive of our elders, the KLC has grown to become a professional and permanent regional authority on Aboriginal issues.

“This building symbolises our proud history and serves as a reminder of what Kimberley Aboriginal people have been able to achieve in the past 37 years. It is also an investment in our future and the future of all Kimberley Aboriginal people as we work towards achieving strong social, economic and cultural outcomes.’’

Mr Hunter said the office complex would not have been possible without significant investment and generous assistance from our project partners.

Funding for the facility was received from the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as well as the State Government’s Royalties for Region program, Lotterywest and the Indigenous Land Corporation.

“We have received great support from our project and funding partners and for that I would like to thank them very much. This generous support has enabled the KLC to build a new facility that will provide a safe, modern, efficient and productive work environment for our staff so we can continue to work for all Kimberley Aboriginal people.’’

Key facts:

The Kimberley Land Council employs more than 180 people across the Kimberley, working on:

  • Native title
  • Land and sea management, including rangers based at satellite stations
  • Legal
  • Corporate and financial management and support

Funding for the building project has been generously provided by:

  • The Australian Government – Regional Development Australia Fund - $4.9m
  • Department of Regional Development (WA) – Royalties for Regions - $3.93m
  • Indigenous Land Corporation - $2m
  • Lotterywest - $2m
  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet - $0.58m
  • Kimberley Land Council member funds - $1.76m

Environmental features of the building include:

  • A 50kW solar panel system that will provide 83,000kWh of electricity each year and reduce the peak electrical demand to the building by 30 per cent each year
  • Solar panels will reduce energy consumption with the building using 60 per cent less energy and putting out 60 per cent less carbon dioxide than a typical modern office of the same size
  • Diverting 60 per cent of construction waste away from landfill
  • Using small lighting zones with good controls, such as daylight and motion sensors to limit lighting usage
  • Using water efficient designs in toilets, showers, and taps; water meters to monitor usage; and air cooled air conditioners
  • Using sustainable building materials, and refrigerants and insulation that have no ozone-depleting impact

Construction of the project started in June 2013 and was completed in June 2015.
The building was designed by Saleeba Adams Architects
The facility was built by Norbuilt
The site is at 11 Gregory St Broome (Cnr Gregory and Pembroke) and is owned by the KLC.

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