- Discussion Paper on Community Living Area Land Reform in the Northern Territory
- Written submissions received on the Discussion Paper
- Outcomes Paper on Community Living Area Land Reform in the Northern Territory
- Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Regulation 2013
- Next Steps
- Find out more
Community Living Area Land Reform in the Northern Territory
The Australian Government has made a 10-year commitment to work with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build strong, independent lives where communities, families and children are safe and healthy.
In 2011, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory consultations reported on specific barriers to economic development that needed to be overcome, including through continued land reform.
The Australian Government is committed to reforming land tenure arrangements for community-titled Indigenous held land across Australia, including providing land owners with the opportunity to voluntarily develop and consider options for economic development and home ownership.
There are more than 100 Aboriginal communities on community living area land in the Northern Territory. A community living area is a small portion of land granted out of a pastoral lease as conditional freehold to an Aboriginal community or family for residential purposes, where Aboriginal people did not benefit from land granted under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.
The Australian Government is committed to working in partnership with community living area land owners, community members, the Northern Territory Government, the Northern Territory Land Councils, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association and other relevant and interested stakeholders to achieve comprehensive and sustainable reforms for community living area land.
A Discussion Paper on community living area land reform in the Northern Territory was released in March 2013 to mark the start of consultation by the Australian Government.
The purpose of the Discussion Paper was to encourage discussions, through written feedback and in-community meetings in the Northern Territory. The Australian Government wanted to hear views on dealing with community living area land and how it should be used in the future to benefit community living area communities.
A number of written submissions on the Discussion Paper were received from key stakeholders and other interested parties.
Australian Government officials visited selected community living area communities in April and May to talk about these reforms.
Following consultations, the Australian Government released an Outcomes Paper on community living area land reform in the Northern Territory. The Outcomes Paper summarises written submissions received on the Discussion Paper and the discussions that took place in community living area consultation meetings. The Outcomes Paper also outlines proposed reforms, including specific immediate reforms and options for longer term reforms.
Accompanying the Outcomes Paper was a Draft Regulation proposed to implement the specific immediate reforms. Written feedback on the Draft Regulation was sought by 5 July 2013.
Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Regulation 2013
After considering written feedback received on the Draft Regulation, the Australian Government has made the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Regulation 2013. The form of the Regulation is consistent with the Draft Regulation provided for comment.
- allows community living area title holders to grant leases and licences for a broad range of purposes, including for commercial, infrastructure and public purposes; and
- changes the arrangements in relation to Northern Territory Ministerial consent for leases on community living area land to only require Ministerial consent for leases with a term greater than ten years, rather than 12 months as was previously the case. This consent provision will also apply to licences.
The Regulation is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments and is available at the following link:
The Australian Government has requested written feedback on broader issues raised in the Outcomes Paper, particularly on longer term reform options, by 30 September 2013. Written feedback received on broader issues will be made public.
Feedback can be submitted by post:
Land and Economic Development Branch
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre
Find out more
For more information on community living area land reform in the Northern Territory, email: CLAlandreform@dss.gov.au