Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner
Landmark Agreement Puts Power Back In The Hands Of Communities
Victor P Taffa
Northern Territory Government will today sign the Groote Archipelago Local Decision-Making Agreement with the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC).
“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.” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
“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.”
Agreement is 1 of 9 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.
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.
“This agreement represents a future for the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Archipelago that is decided by our people, for our people.” ALC Chairman Tony Wurramarrba AO said.
“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.”
Agreement recognises the long established and strong systems of Anindilyakwa governance and leadership, and sets out how ALC, the Northern Territory 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)