Working towards Local Decision Making for the Yolngu

The Territory Labor Government and Regional Leaders of East Arnhem Land today signed an agreement to work towards more local decision making. The commitment marks a new and better way of working together to properly recognise and support local decision making, service delivery and empowerment in the Yolngu region.

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Resignation of NLC CEO

15 November 2018

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, today acknowledged the resignation of Northern Land Council (NLC) CEO Joe Morrison with regret, saying it was a huge loss for the organisation.

Since Mr Vowles became Primary Industry and Resources Minister in 2016, he and Mr Morrison have enjoyed a productive, robust working relationship. This relationship was strengthened when Mr Vowles was named Minister for Aboriginal Affairs earlier this year.

Mr Vowles said many positive changes had occurred at the NLC under Mr Morrison’s watch, and the organisation had made significant steps forward on many issues during Mr Morrison’s nearly five years as CEO.

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

“No matter the subject – and there have been several difficult matters to discuss – Joe has always proved himself to be open to discussion and, most importantly, a strong advocate for the NLC and Aboriginal affairs in general.

“The NLC has benefitted greatly from his guidance during his tenure, and when he finishes up next year he will leave behind some big shoes to fill.

“I wish Joe all the best in his future endeavours, and remain committed to working with the NLC, and whoever becomes the new CEO, to better the lives of Aboriginal Territorians.”

Media Contact: Leanne Hudson 0427 687 079

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