Your guide to being a council member

You can only enter and leave the biosecurity zones (the Barkly, Central Desert and MacDonnell regional council areas) with a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) and a permission letter from the CLC.

If you are in Alice Springs you will also need a negative RAT and a permission letter before you will be allowed to go home.

First go to 44 Bath Street (corner Bath Street and Gregory Terrace) to take a RAT test.

Then take your negative test result and you ID to our AAMC office in 71 Bath Street to apply for a permission letter.

Please come to the entrance on the back lane, off Stott Terrace.

The office will be open from Monday, and every weekday between 8:30 and 17:00.

If you test positive and you or your close contacts can’t go home please call the following emergency relief services:

  • Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council – 8958 2345
  • Tangentyere Council – 8951 4222
  • The Salvation Army – 13 72 58
  • Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi – 8953 4488
  • Alice Springs Women’s Shelter 8952 6075

If you want to leave the Barkly regional council area please contact the CLC office in Tennant Creek on 8951 0540.

Our staff there will also need to see your negative RAT result and your ID.

You can also call us on 8951 0600 during business hours.

Government rule change unfairly advantages horticulture company

The Central Land Council says the NT Government must scrap the Singleton Station water licence decision following revelations by the ABC that the government may have bent the rules to give Fortune Agribusiness an unfair advantage over Aboriginal landowners and the public.

“Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that one of the government’s own water planners warned against creating the impression that the government gave the company an unfair procedural advantage over the rights and interests of traditional owners, native title holders and remote community residents,” said CLC chief executive Les Turner.

“These documents show that the NT Environment Department chief executive Jo Townsend (who also happens to be the NT water controller) was alerted to the risk of the perception that her department is either incompetent or something more sinister is going on, but ignored the warning.”

“They demonstrate that the government puts private profits before the rights and interests of our people and treats sacred site protection with total contempt.”

The documents show that following a 2019 meeting between Ms Townsend, Fortune Agribusiness, chief minister Michael Gunner and water security minister Eva Lawler, Ms Townsend directed her department to quickly fix the issue of groundwater-dependent ecosystems, so that it would be clear that not all of these ecosystems needed to be protected.
The department then developed a guideline in consultation with the company which Ms Townsend approved.

It applies exclusively to the water region that includes by Singleton Station and allows for the destruction of up to 30 per cent of ground-water-dependent ecosystems, which were previously protected.
In 2020, this time acting as the water controller, she referred to the guideline in her decision to award the NT’s biggest-ever water licence to the company, allowing it to pump up 40,000 mega litres of finite groundwater per year for 30 years, for free and largely to grow export crops.

“Unsurprisingly, the company’s modelling showed that the impact of the licence on groundwater-dependent ecosystems would be within the 30 per cent allowed by the guideline,” Mr Turner said.

“As representatives of the traditional owners the CLC took part in water planning for the region around Singleton in good faith and made sure the water allocation plan stated that Aboriginal cultural values must be protected,” Mr Turner said.

“The department needs to explain why, without consulting with us, it tailored a guideline for the benefit of Fortune Agribusiness that flies in the face of that plan and allows the company to destroy the very ecosystems that are home to dozens of sacred sites.”

The water controller granted the licence before a thorough assessment of the environmental impacts of the proposal on culturally important groundwater-dependent ecosystems.

“She ignored the views of the traditional owners and failed to consider the impact of the water licence on their sites. She didn’t even include any conditions for sacred site protection in the licence,” he said.

“If Minister Lawler is a fair and independent umpire in the current review of the licence she would listen to the traditional owners and scrap it rather than roll over for private business.”