Aboriginal Centre Zoning Mistake

Goomblar Wylo Aboriginal Culture Centre Blue Mountains City Council BMCCYou may have seen Aboriginal man Goomblar Wylo busking at Echo Point. Many of you have seen him playing the dijeridoo on one of his many national and international tours.

Goomblar made a development application to Blue Mountains Council to set up a 100% Aboriginal owned, not for profit Aboriginal Culture Centre at Echo Point Plaza. This was to benefit and provide training and employment to the whole Aboriginal community.

Goomblar’s application was refused on the grounds that the only allowable use for the premises was “Retail Sales” and he was not allowed to have any performances or cultural demonstrations. ..

Blue Mountains Council BMCC refuses Goomblar Aboriginal Culture Centre

Here is the full BMCC letter telling him that any sort of performance activity was a prohibited use.

It took BMCC 9 months to finally refuse Goomblar’s application.

Within 6 months afterwards,  Council approved a 100% NON Aboriginal owned FOR PROFIT Aboriginal Culture Centre in EXACTLY THE SAME SPACE. The approval specifically allowed 56, six man dance performances per week with ticketing…. in the same area that BMCC told Goomblar was “Retail Sales” only!

I tried to get answers from Council but for 2 years there were excuses, delays and the whole thing just seemed to be covered up. They finally reluctantly admitted that they had made a “mistake” in assessing Goomblar’s application.

You can download and read the DA approval for the Aboriginal Cultural Centre after Goomblar was knocked back. Have a look at “Conditions- 4” to see how generous BMCC was to the new applicant.

So, a few months after Goomblar was refused because he was not allowed any sort of cultural shows, a NON ABORIGINAL owned culture centre was putting on 6 man Aboriginal dance performances every trading hour of the week in the same space! Have look at the YouTube video below of the Waradah Aboriginal Culture Centre to see the  extent of the performance activity that Goomblar was denied.



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8 thoughts on “Aboriginal Centre Zoning Mistake”

  1. The Blue Mountains City Council is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. I had endless trouble with them when I owned a shop in Katoomba. They seemed determined to destroy and discourage anything that retained the history of Katoomba, and were fixated on setting up the Coles shopping center, which led to the demise of most longstanding businesses on Katoomba Street. Their treatment of Goomblar doesn’t surprise me a bit. They would allow any busker that came up from Sydney to make an infernal racket in front of shops on Katoomba Street, but a genuine Aboriginal artist like Goomblar couldn’t have a space at Echo Point. I left Katoomba, and I see Goomblar has too. I hope he is happy and better treated where he has gone. He was a jewel and a very kind and gentle man.

    1. Whilst there have been many past mistakes in Aboriginal related projects, Goomblar is a genuine artist and a real ambassador for Aboriginal culture. He has visited many countries in the world including Russia, Hungary, Germany promoting Australia and real Aboriginal culture. Whilst my own thoughts are very much on the conservative side, this situation is nothing more than an apparently corrupt and misguided mess. Blue Mountains Council should be dismisssed by the State Government and replaced by a sensible administration. If the Council promoted project goes ahead, I will be actively discouraging my overseas tourism contacts to boycott Echo Point.
      Peter Laszlo

  2. None of us is silly enough to believe it was a “mistake”. The point is they must be brought to account for this travesty. Who will have the guts to follow that through?

  3. I thought the centre was aboriginal owned. Apart from the incompetant mistake, this is like going back to the colonial days having an Aboriginal centre owned by white people. Disgusting.

  4. Goomblar left the Blue Mountains because of this terrible mess. He was a fantastic tourist atraction and he left a very sad and dissapointed man. I hope he has found a good place to live where he gets treated better.

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