Annual Report 2010-2011
Output 2.2 Other Land Acquisition
Aboriginal people have only been able to claim vacant Crown land and land owned by Aboriginal people under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. This left the thousands of Aboriginal people who lived on pastoral leases landless.
There remain two other, albeit difficult, paths Aboriginal people may pursue to own their traditional land.
They can apply for a Community Living Area under Part 8 of the Pastoral Land Act 1992 which may give them a small parcel of land - perhaps a couple of square kilometres - on a pastoral lease.
Alternatively, they may apply to the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) or other sources such as ABA to buy land on their behalf.
Pastoral Leases -Huckitta
The Huckitta Aboriginal Corporation purchased Huckitta Station in August 2010 using funds from the ABA. Eastern Arrernte people in the Plenty River region have wanted to buy the property for many years. Huckitta covers 1780 square kilometres and is situated approximately 250 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs. A condition of the purchase was for the vendor to remain in place under a 12-month grazing licence to allow for a staged transition to Aboriginal management in August 2011.
Further progress in this period toward finalising formal joint management arrangements over national parks and reserves in accordance with the NT Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Act 2004 was slow.
Of the 20 parks in the CLC region that these arrangements apply to, 16 are subject to a change in tenure to either Aboriginal freehold or NT Parks freehold
and 99 year lease-back to the NT Government.
The remaining four are jointly-managed under Indigenous Land Use Agreements that are now in place without change in tenure.
Title transfers have been completed for 14 of the 16 parks subject to tenure change. The Finke Gorge National Park was the only one to occur this year (see Output 2.1).
Title handover and leaseback for the two remaining two jointly-managed parks – the West MacDonnell National Park and the Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park – is still outstanding.
Other Land Acquisition Initiatives
No other properties have been acquired on behalf of traditional owners.
Negotiations have been carried out in regard to:
- A land swap on the Thakaperte ALT with the Hamilton Downs pastoral lease
- A proposal to change tenure from Partta NT Freehold to Aboriginal Freehold.
- An attempt to purchase a small but culturally significant block to the north of Tennant Creek encompassing the sacred site Makajaja pursued on behalf of the Partta Land Aboriginal Corporation
- Work toward the purchase of pastoral land in the western Alice Springs region
- Representation of CLC constituents in discussions relating to the purchase of the Henbury Pastoral Lease by R.M. Williams Agricultural Holdings. Efforts to include traditional owners in the purchase were unsuccessful.