How the Northern Land Council Assists Aboriginal peoples in the Top End
Full lecture title: How the Northern Land Council assists Aboriginal peoples in the Top End and how the Council will assist in managing their traditional land and seas
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act was passed by the Commonwealth Parliament in late 1976. It’s allowed Aboriginal people to win back more than half the NT land mass as Aboriginal freehold land. The High Court Blue Mud Bay decision of 2008 gave ownership of 85 per cent of the NT coastline to adjacent Aboriginal Land Trusts. The High Court’s Mabo decision of 1992 has led to much of the remainder of the NT land mass not held as Aboriginal land being recognised under the Native Title Act. The Northern Territory Land Rights Act also created four land councils in the NT, the Northern Land Council being the biggest Indigenous statutory organisation in the country.
Four decades after its creation, what role is left for the Northern Land Council?
Joe Morrison has been Chief Executive of the NLC for nearly two years. He wants the NLC to be a leader in the gathering push to develop the north. He argues that Aboriginal people have not been engaged in northern development; the very people who have the overwhelming interests in the NT’s landscape do not have a seat at the planning table.