The Northern Land Council has welcomed the settlement of the legal challenge by members of the Rirratjingu clan to the grant of a 99-year township lease on Aboriginal land at Gunyangara in north east Arnhem Land.

The lease, approved by the Full Council of the Northern Land Council in November last year, will be held by a Gumatj controlled Aboriginal Corporation.

The case against the Northern Land Council and the Gumatj clan began on Tuesday in the Federal Court at Darwin, but was adjourned at lunchtime yesterday for discussions among the parties.

The settlement means that Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, who has withheld his consent of the township lease because of the court action, will now be able to sign off.
NLC Chief Executive Joe Morrison said he now hopes that all parties can focus on overcoming the disadvantage faced by Aboriginal people in north east Arnhem Land.

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