OUTPUT GROUP 1 • Land & Natural resource MAnagement
Output 1.1 Permits
Access to Aboriginal land is managed effectively and efficiently.
The permit system is authorised by s.73 of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cwlth) and contained within the Aboriginal Land Act (NT). The system provides all visitors, workers and researchers with a system of regulated access to Aboriginal land administered by the land councils. Traditional owners use the permit system to manage access to their land and uphold their responsibilities towards visitors. The CLC offers entry, transit, media (news of the day), mining and special purpose permits.
In 2007, amendments were made to the system so that permits are not required for public areas in main communities. Permits to visit Aboriginal land outside community ‘common areas’ are still required. However, as traditional owners requested, many visitors to communities still apply for permits to areas where permits are not required in order to have peace of mind about the consent of the residents. The CLC appreciates these shows of goodwill.
Nonetheless, the CLC believes that changes to the permit system have led some people to assume that they are free to visit Aboriginal land outside communities as well. Traditional landowners are particularly concerned about theft of equipment (most commonly solar panels and bore equipment) and damage to sacred sites.
Entry and special purpose permits
Despite the small number of entry and special purpose permits issued, the work required takes up a significant amount of staff time and resources. The CLC undertook traditional owner consultations and proponent negotiations for numerous special purpose and entry permit applications.
Permits data for 2015–16
Permit applications for the last eight years
Total permits issued
The applications received and consulted upon in 2015–16 were, as ever, extremely diverse in nature. They included use of parts of Arletherre ALT for a rogaining event and car rally; dingo research by University of Technology Sydney; the Uluru Run between Uluru and the South Australian border; and the Endeavour Rally from Uluru to the Lasseter Highway.
Discussions were held with traditional owners concerning the development of a new permit system for visitors wishing to drive the Madigan track, which traverses across the Atnetye ALT.
Efforts to reduce the incidence of illegal entry onto Aboriginal lands focused on the installation of additional restricted entry signs. Traditional owners identified multiple sites where such signs were needed on Urrampinyi Iltjiltjarri, Haasts Bluff and Warti-yangu ALTs. At Kunjarra, regular patrols were conducted during the tourist season to enforce camping restrictions.
Aboriginal land under joint management received 31 permit applications through the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT (PWCNT) for NT Parks and Reserves.
Tourism-related permit consultations and negotiations included applications for a special purpose permit application for filming and cultural activities at Patji; from Tourism NT for the Landrover Experience Tour; a special purpose application by the Mutitjulu Foundation for a fund raising tour to Lake Amadeus; and from NITV for commercial filming at Patji with Uluru Family Tours.
Anangu elder Pantjiti McKenzie guides CLC rangers during a prescribed burn near Tjukurla.