Annual Report 2010-2011
Output 5.3 Dispute resolution in relation to Land
Each Land Council has a statutory duty under section 25 of the Land Rights Act to conciliate disputes. Fortunately, in the CLC area the number of disputes is modest.
In some cases it is recognised that conciliation is, or will ultimately be, ineffective to resolve a dispute.
In such a situation the CLC adopts strategies to manage the dispute over time and minimise disturbance among groups associated with the area in dispute.
Disputes to which section 25 of the Land Rights Act applies to are uncommon in the CLC’s region.
Most disagreements are between family groups and arise from some other cause.
Sometimes these disputes come to be seen as concerning land although the original cause had nothing to do with land. When disputes do emerge they can sometimes appear to be intractable.
During the year social disturbances at Yuendumu resulting from the tragic death of a young community memberin Alice Springs attracted national publicity.
Eventually senior members of the community approached the CLC for assistance to convene a meeting of elders from Yuendumu and other communities in the region, to provide a forum for discussion of the principal issues underlying the disturbance and for senior members of the families to meet.
After conferring with representatives of both families the CLC provided assistance for people to travel to a meeting at Yuendumu on 14 June 2011. The presence and support of the elders enabled the families to have a direct discussion about the issues for the first time.
The CLC expresses its appreciation to the families involved and the elders for their contribution to the successful meeting, and also to staff of the Department of Justice and other agencies who have worked so hard to bring about a resolution.
A further meeting will be planned after Yuendumu Sports has been held on the first weekend of August.