Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Investing in the Bush: Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan Released

The Territory Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to improve the lives of Aboriginal Territorians with today’s release of the Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan.

The comprehensive plan outlines 10 actions that will facilitate Aboriginal Territorians to pursue their social and economic aspirations through land and sea ownership, from supporting the resolution of the outstanding Aboriginal land claims to supporting traditional custodians to manage and maximise the opportunities their land and sea ownership provides.

Currently, 48 per cent of the Northern Territory’s land mass and 80 per cent of its coastline is Aboriginal land. The vast majority of remaining land is, or will likely be, subject to native title.

The new Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan proposes a partnership approach with the Commonwealth Government, traditional owners, the four NT land councils and other key stakeholders to progress some of these big issues.

The 10 actions under the new plan include:

1.     Resolve all outstanding land claims

2.     Resolve Blue Mud Bay fishing access arrangements

3.     Progress the Aboriginal Land Commissioner’s recommended changes to the Land Rights Act, relating to exploration and mining on Aboriginal land

4.     Develop an NT Government Native Title Policy Framework

5.     Develop a strategic approach to tenure and other issues in mining towns that will eventually become Aboriginal land

6.     Work to enhance the opportunities for long-term leasing on Aboriginal land

7.     Support the management of Aboriginal Land

8.     Support economic development and employment on Aboriginal land

9.     Make improvements to NT legislation and administrative process

10.  Support improvements to Commonwealth legislative processes.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Selena Uibo, announced the plan in Alice Springs this morning, where work is already underway with the Central Land Council in relation to the joint management of parks.

The Territory has 87 parks and reserves, many of which are jointly managed with traditional owners.

Last year, three million people visited these parks, and the NT Government wants to work with both land councils and traditional owners to look at how the visitor experience in these parks could be improved.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Selena Uibo.

“The Territory Labor Government is delivering for Aboriginal Territorians, with our local decision making agenda and the appointment of our first ever Treaty Commissioner.

“The Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan further delivers by supporting land and sea ownership to deliver on the economic and social aspirations of Aboriginal Territorians.”

“Action seven, which includes reinvigorating the joint management of parks, is one example of how the government can work with traditional owners, drawing upon thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom, to improve the visitor experience in the NT.

“We have consulted widely in the development of this plan, not just with land owners and land councils, but with key stakeholder groups, representing pastoralists, tourism operators, miners and fishers.

“While everyone has their own priorities and views, taking a partnership approach where possible on these big issues will not just benefit Aboriginal Territorians, but all Territorians.”


Media contact: Kim Stephens 0417 683 144