Landmark Local Decision Making Agreement puts power back in the hands of communities

14 November 2018

The Territory Labor Government will today sign the Groote Archipelago Local Decision Making Agreement with the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC).

The agreement is one of nine Local Decision Making agreements now signed or underway across the Territory, developed in accordance with the principles of self-determination; flexible place based approaches; co-design; and community control.

A return to Local Decision Making for Aboriginal communities was a key election commitment of the Territory Labor Government.

The binding agreement outlines Anindilyakwa priorities and timeframes for transition to local control in the areas of housing, education, health, local government, economic development, law and justice and environmental sustainability.

The agreement recognises the long established and strong systems of Anindilyakwa governance and leadership, and sets out how ALC, the NT Government, other stakeholders and the Anindilyakwa people will work together to transition decision making and service delivery for the Groote Eylandt communities over the next decade.

Agreements signed include:

  • West Daly (signed November 2018)
  • Djalkiripunynu (Blue Mud Bay) Statement of Commitment  (signed July 2018)
  • Yugul Mangi Aboriginal Corporation (signed May 2018)
  • Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation (signed November 2018)

Agreements underway include:

  • Alawa Aboriginal Corporation
  • Mutitjulu Community
  • Tangentyere Council
  • Yolngu Region Statement of Commitment
  • Gurindji Aboriginal Corporation (to be signed 19 November 2018)

More information on Local Decision Making agreements can be found at ldm.nt.gov.au

Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner

“Local Decision Making is a key election promise of the Territory Labor Government, and it serves as a potential first step towards a Territory version of Treaty.

“The old way is finished, and today we embark on a significant journey to give decision-making power back to where it belongs, in the hands of the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Archipelago.

“This means Government giving up decision making power to communities in areas like housing, education, justice, local government, health and looking after kids.

Quotes from ALC Chairman Tony Wurramarrba AO

“This agreement represents a future for the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Archipelago that is decided by our people, for our people.”

“We celebrate today’s occasion because it marks the Northern Territory Government’s solemn commitment to return control of local decisions to Traditional Owners. We will work with the Northern Territory Government to undertake this important work under this agreement over the next decade and make these changes for the benefit of our people.”

Media Contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192

Boat Ramp Now Open

Nhulunbuy’s Community Boat Ramp OPEN

10 November 2018

Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, today officially opened the new and improved Community Boat Ramp at Melville Bay in Nhulunbuy.

The $556,677 (incl GST) upgrade to the boat ramp was funded through the Territory Labor Government’s $50 million investment in recreational fishing, which was an election promise.

The upgrade, which provided work for local contractors and was driven by the Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club (NRFSC), also includes two new fishing platforms.

The project involved several stakeholders, including the local Police, Border Force, tourism and fishing charter operators, the Dhimurru Rangers and the Gumatj people.

Quotes from Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles:

“The Territory Labor Government is investing in recreational fishing because it creates jobs, injects millions of dollars into our economy and is a huge part of our Territory lifestyle.

“This is a prime example of different stakeholders working together to achieve an outcome beneficial to the whole community. The fantastic efforts of the NRSFC must be recognised, especially the huge amount of work put in by project coordinator Peter Cox.

“Several different groups will use the ramp for different reasons, so the completion of this project is a win for the whole community.

“Already today we’ve seen a large turnout use the ramp for a family fishing competition, and there is no doubt it will prove a popular, all-tide facility that provides safe access to the water for a range of users.”

Quote from Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club President, Anthony Bergamo:

“The completed facilities have secured all-tide, all-weather, safe access to Melville Bay for recreational anglers and tourist operators.

“We are very grateful for the support from the Traditional Owners and Northern Territory Government in helping us achieve this fantastic result.

“All construction works have been completed by local contractors and it has been a real boost to the local economy.

“We are very confident the community will enjoy this facility for many years to come.”

Media Contact: Leanne Hudson 0427 687 079

Call for Witnesses – Assault – Nhulunbuy

Northern Territory Police are appealing for information about an alleged assault in Nhulunbuy earlier this week.

Just after 8:30pm on Wednesday a group of four masked men attended a property in Klyn Circuit. Senior Sergeant Daniel Whitfield-Jones said one man was armed with a knife while the other three carried lengths of timber.

“The group knocked on the front door of the property and hid in the darkness until a man at the residence came outside.

“The men then repeatedly struck the victim with their weapons before fleeing to a waiting car in a nearby street and speeding away,” Senior Sergeant Whitfield-Jones said.

The victim suffered serious injuries and has been taken to hospital.

“We’re told the four men were all of a similar height, around 175 and 180cm tall, of medium build and wearing long sleeved shirts, balaclavas and gloves,” Snr Sgt Whitfield Jones said.

“The car they fled in is described as a small white hatchback or SUV, but we’re not sure what make it is.”

Snr Sgt Whitfield Jones is asking anyone with footage from CCTVs that face onto Wuyal Street to contact Nhulunbuy Police.

Investigators are also seeking help from the public to identify two people who may be able to assist officers with their enquiries.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.

Indigenous advancement funding redirected to cattlemen and fishing groups

Nigel Scullion gave almost half a million dollars to groups to argue how they might be negatively impacted by land rights claims.

Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion has given almost half a million dollars’ worth of funds earmarked for alleviating Indigenous disadvantage to fishing and cattlemen’s groups in the Northern Territory. The grants will go towards legal fees for the groups to argue how they might be negatively impacted by land rights claims, he told a Senate estimates hearing last week.

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Female ranger taken by crocodile in Gan Gan

A FEMALE ranger has been taken by a crocodile infront of horrified onlookers in a remote region of the Northern Territory.

The woman was attacked while on the job at 10am today near the community of Gangan, about 206km south west of Yirrkala in Arnhem Land. She has not been seen since. News.com.au understands police are enroute via dirt roads and boat to the area but were at least a few hours away mid-afternoon Friday.

The Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, which runs the Yirralka Rangers program, first reported the attack to authorities, and has since closed its office.

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Pictured: British backpacker, 23, who is the first to be killed by a sea snake in Australia

A British backpacker killed by a sea snake in Australia has been remembered as a kind-hearted young man who made everyone laugh.

Harry Evans died on Thursday just two hours after he was bitten while working on a fishing trawler off the Northern Territory, near the remote island of Groote Eylandt.

The 23-year-old was the first person ever to die from a sea snake bite in Australia, and would have been saved if he had received anti-venom in time.

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British man dies after being bitten by a sea snake off Groote Eylandt

A British man has died after being bitten by a sea snake while working on a fishing trawler off the Northern Territory coast.

Northern Territory Police said the 23-year-old was bitten while pulling up a net about 12:00pm on Thursday, about 70 nautical miles south of Groote Eylandt.

A CareFlight helicopter crew and ships in the area rushed to help but were unable to save the man.

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The Northern Territory is home to some of the highest known rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, but the transient nature of the region’s medical practitioners could be hindering the fight to stop it.

The entirely preventable condition affects mainly Indigenous people living in remote areas, and in the Arnhem Land community of Maningrida, children as young as four have died from the disease.

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In a remote Indigenous community of 3,000 people, researchers have discovered the highest known rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, where children as young as four have died from the entirely preventable condition.

A study by the Menzies School of Health Research screened about 450 school age children in Maningrida, and the preliminary results reveal one in 20 suffered from rheumatic heart disease.

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