Annual Report 2010-2011

Published: December, 2011

CLC Governance

Enabling Legislation

The CLC operates under The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

Responsible Minister

The responsible minister during the 2010-2011 year was the Hon. Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Statutory Functions

The statutory functions of the Central Land Council are described in section 23 (1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and are detailed previously.
Although its functions are determined by the Act, the Land Council is first and foremost a representative organisation for the Aboriginal people in its area.
The CLC’s guiding principles are:
•  Respect for people and traditional owners
•  Respect for country
•  Respect for culture and Aboriginal law
•  Achieving justice and equality
•  Respecting the law.


The Central Land Council is a council of Aboriginal people from across the southern half of the NT. The CLC has 90 council members representing 75 remote communities and outstations.
The Land Rights Act provides that any Aboriginal person may nominate for membership of the Council, provided they are living in the CLC area or are traditional owners of land within the CLC area.
The method of choice of members, including the list of communities and outstations who can nominate members and the allocation of representatives from each community, are determined by the Council and subject to approval by the Minister.
Every three years communities and outstations are asked to choose their Council members either through nomination if they are small communities or formal preferential voting in larger communities.
At the commencement of each term of the Council the members vote for a Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Executive members and five members of the Aboriginals Benefit Account Advisory Committee. The Chairman, Deputy Chairman and ABA members are formally elected by preferential voting in elections overseen by the Australian Electoral Commission.
The Council is responsible for determining policy and the strategic direction of the CLC. It meets three times per year in different locations in the CLC region. Meetings are open to all Aboriginal people in the
CLC region, but only Council members may vote or hold office.

Council meetings 2010-2011

Meeting dates

Location Resolutions passed
27-29 Jul 2010 Tennant Creek 6
9-11 Nov 2010 Utopia 8
12-14 Apr 2010 Yulara Pulka 12

The Executive

The Executive is a committee of the Council pursuant to section 29(a) of the ALRA but is not considered to be committee of a board for the purposes of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act.

Meeting date Resolutions passed Apologies given
13 July 2010 16 Gina Smith, Ngarla Kunoth Monks, Sid Anderson
9 September 2010 19 Sid Anderson
25 October 2010 9 Ngarla Kunoth Monks nominated aly=ternate member Maxie Ray
7 Dec 2010 29 Veronica Lynch, Gina Smith, Maurie Ryan
22 Feb 2011 8 nil
22 Mar 2010 9 Ngarla Kunoth Monks
24 May 2011 16 Ngarla Kunoth Monks, Malcolm Ross, Shirley Dempsey
22-23 Jun 2011 26 Sid Anderson

The Executive comprises nine members representing the CLC’s nine administrative regions plus the Chair and Deputy Chair.
The Executive met between Council meetings eight times in Alice Springs during this financial year.
Pursuant to section 28 of the ALRA the Council has delegated all its powers capable of delegation (except those powers which have been delegated to the Director, Chairperson and Financial Controller) to the Executive.
In practice this means that the majority of matters requiring formal resolution, such as land use agreements and Part IV mining matters, are brought to the Executive, leaving the Council to discuss policy matters.

Supporting Good Governance 

The administrative arm of the CLC provides support and advice to the Council. Ensuring that members understand their role and responsibilities is critical to good governance.
The CLC conducts a thorough induction process at the beginning of each Council term.
This process consists of workshop sessions at Council meetings and regional workshops with smaller groups of members in their own communities.
Appropriate educational materials are produced to assist in explaining the role and functions of the CLC as a whole in addition to the role and responsibility of members.
The CLC undertook measures to enhance the governance of the Council including:

  • Finalisation of a series of CLC regional governance workshops for Council members. The process resulted in a report from the professional governance trainer involved in the workshops. Early progress was made on a new CLC Governance Manual for Council members based on feedback from the workshops combined with professional advice
  • Finalisation of new Council meeting rules ready for approval by the Minister.

The CLC also attended and provided advice to ABA Advisory Committee members at the ABA meetings held on 24-27 August 2010, 16-19 November 2010, and 5-8 April 2011, and also participated with a meeting in May 2011 to assist with deliberations over the ABA Strategic Plan.

Code Of Conduct

The Council has adopted a Code of Conduct which incorporates requirements under the CAC Act and seeks to establish ethical standards and behaviour.
Explaining and discussing the Code of Conduct is a key part of the induction process. The Code of Conduct sets out processes for dealing with members who breach the code. A copy of the Code of conduct is a permanent insert in Council folders provided at each meeting.