News & Publications
Federal Court decision welcomed
May 23, 2023
The Northern Land Council welcomes the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court, paving the way for the Gove Peninsula Yolŋu native title case and associated compensation claim to be heard.
NLC Chair awarded Honorary Doctorate
May 23, 2023
The Northern Land Council congratulates Dr Samuel Bush-Blanasi on the awarding of his well-deserved Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa).
NLC Code of Conduct
May 23, 2023
Our Code of Conduct is a set of expectations and standards that tell us how we must act and conduct our business as employees of the Northern Land Council (NLC) when at work and in public.
Yunupingu honoured as a man of action who spoke truth to power
May 22, 2023
The Northern Land Council today honoured Yunupingu as a fierce fighter for land and sea rights, the Land Council, and for Aboriginal people across Australia.
NLC welcome much needed investment in National Parks
Apr 26, 2023
The Commonwealth Government’s announcement in the 2023-24 Budget of $262.3 million additional funding for Australia’s national parks has been warmly welcomed by the Northern Land Council.
Nation mourns loss of great leader
Apr 3, 2023
Today we mourn the loss of a great leader, statesman, and father. On behalf of past and present Members and staff, the Chair of the Northern Land Council, Dr Samuel Bush-Blanasi, offered his sincere condolences to Mr Yunupingu’s family.
Repairing nature means Caring for Country
Mar 29, 2023
The Chair of the Northern Land Council, Dr Samuel Bush-Blanasi, today welcomed the introduction of legislation into the Commonwealth Parliament to establish a ‘nature repair’ market.
NLC Strategic Plan 2022-27
Feb 21, 2023
The NLC Strategic Plan was adopted by the Full Council at Katherine in December 2022. The Strategic Plan sets out the strategic intent of the Northern Land Council for the period 2022-27.
“Enough is enough” – legal proceedings launched to challenge decision to permit more land clearing at Auvergne Station
Feb 13, 2023
Legal proceedings were commenced on Friday 10 February 2023 in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, challenging a decision made on 25 November 2022 by a delegate of the Pastoral Land Board to grant a permit to clear native vegetation over at least 923 hectares of land at Auvergne Station.
Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs ‘Inquiry into community safety, support services and job opportunities in the Northern Territory’
Feb 10, 2023
The terms of reference for this Inquiry include looking into the end of the Stronger Futures legislation and alcohol management in the NT. The NLC submission highlights that government planning and consultation were not adequate prior to the end of Stronger Futures and lifting of alcohol restrictions. The submission emphasises the need for Aboriginal people to be at the centre of the design and implementation of policies that affect them.
Submission to the Northern Territory Government on the Draft Surface Water Take – Wet Season Flows Policy and the Draft Interference with a Waterway Guideline
Jan 10, 2023
The Northern Land Council provided a response to the NT Government’s Draft Surface Water Take – Wet Season Flows Policy and the Draft Interference with a Waterway Guideline. The purpose of the draft policy is to establish the allocation rules for quantifying wet season water flow volumes available for consumptive use from a river basin, while maintaining free flowing rivers and important environmental and cultural values. The NLC supports the policy purpose, however the draft policy and guideline do not enable to the purpose to be achieved. The documents do not include adequate protection of the rights and interests of Aboriginal people in the NLC region, and do not provide adequate actions to ensure cultural values are protected. Therefore, the NLC does not support the draft policy or guideline in their current forms. The draft documents require substantial change and should be updated in accordance with the recommendations made in this submission.
Read the latest edition of Land Rights News - Northern Edition
Jan 6, 2023
Australia's oldest Aboriginal newspaper, telling stories from remote Aboriginal lands across the Northern Territory.
Submission to the Northern Territory Government on the Draft Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan
Jan 6, 2023
The Northern Land Council provided a response to the Draft Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan, finding that the draft water allocation plan documents do not provide adequate information for the NLC to have confidence in the proposed water management arrangements for the Georgina Wiso area. The draft plan does not integrate the management of all water resources in the region; adequately address risks and identify mitigation responses; or put effective water management arrangements in place. The NLC calls for the documents be withdrawn and an interim water allocation plan of up to three years duration be redrafted; that the NLC is part of an advisory group to undertake a streamlined, fast‐tracked water planning process in early 2023; and that as part of the redrafting process, advice be sought from relevant authorities to ensure that a redrafted interim water plan meets the requirements of the National Water Initiative.
Submission to the Northern Territory Government on the Draft Territory Water Plan
Jan 6, 2023
The Northern Land Council provided a submission in response to the NT Government’s Draft Territory Water Plan. In our submission, the NLC calls for true recognition of Traditional Owner’s rights and responsibilities for all aspects of water resource management; the protection of culturally important and sacred sites; and for Aboriginal people to have access and the ability to use water as they see fit. In the NT we need an innovative and progressive Water Plan that adheres with the national water reform agenda and meets community expectations for best practice water management. The Water Plan provides an opportunity to put in place mechanisms to protect water for Country and culture; to ensure there is sufficient water of appropriate quality for people and services across the NT; and to enable economic development. We are asking the Government to not waste this opportunity as they finalise the Water Plan.
Submission to the Productivity Commission on the National Water Reform
Jan 6, 2023
The Northern Land Council provided a submission to the Productivity Commission in response to their draft report on National Water Reform 2020. The submission made 23 recommendations for the Commission to consider in finalising its advice to the Commonwealth Government. Our submission also highlighted significant components of the 2004 Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative that have not been implemented or adhered to in the Northern Territory, but that need to be addressed as part of a future water reform agenda.
The NLC’s new Darwin office precinct reaches critical milestone
Dec 20, 2022
The development of the Northern Land Councils (NLC’s) new Darwin office precinct has reached a critical milestone, marking 50% design completion.
New arrangements for recreational fishing from 1 January 2023
Dec 8, 2022
Earlier today the Full Council of the Northern Land Council agreed to updated access arrangements for recreational fishers wanting to access waters overlying Aboriginal land from 1 January 2023.
NLC historic elections on the eve of 50th anniversary
Dec 7, 2022
The NLC made history today with delegates to the 124th Full Council meeting in Katherine voting to re-elect Samuel Bush-Blanasi as NLC Chair for a historic fourth term. Only one other person exceeds Dr Bush-Blanasi’s tenure as Chair of the Northern Land Council, the great Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.
Northern Land Council condemns ‘sneaky’ Petroleum policy on the run
Nov 29, 2022
The Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 was introduced to the Northern Territory Parliament in mid-October by the Minister for Mining and Industry, Nicole Manison. Information released by the NT Government following the introduction of the bill (Community Bulletin #55) made no reference to changes in relation to so-called ‘appraisal gas’.
Northern Land Council statement on passage of the NT Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill 2022
Nov 24, 2022
The Northern Land Council welcomes the passage of the Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 in the NT Legislative Assembly overnight as the first milestone in the proposed legislative changes.
Critical milestone approaches for Blue Mud Bay
Nov 18, 2022
The end of December 2022 marks a significant milestone implementing the Blue Mud Bay Action Plan following the historic 2008 High Court decision.
NLC Annual Report 2021-22
Nov 10, 2022
The Northern Land Council Annual Report 2021-22 provides a comprehensive account of the Council's performance from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022
Submission to the Commonwealth Inquiry into the Federal election
Nov 10, 2022
At least 14,000 eligible Aboriginal people in the NT aren’t on the electoral roll, and many of those who are on the roll aren’t voting in elections: the division of Lingiari, which covers the whole of the NT outside of Darwin, has the lowest turnout of voters in Australia. With the Voice to Parliament referendum fast approaching, it’s important for Aboriginal Territorians to have their say. The NLC submission proposes a number of actions the Commonwealth Government can take to increase the electoral participation of Aboriginal people in the NT.
‘NLC Chair announced NT Australian of the Year’
Nov 1, 2022
The Northern Land Council congratulates Chair, Samuel Bush-Blanasi, for his award as the 2023 Northern Territory Australian of the Year.
Submission on the NT Parks Masterplan
Oct 17, 2022
The NLC submission on the NT Parks Masterplan urges the Parks and Wildlife Commission to commit to working in partnership with Traditional Owners and Land Councils to improve joint management of the parks estate and deliver long-term ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits for Traditional Owners and other stakeholders. The submission makes recommendations regarding governance, implementation and review of the plan, supporting local Aboriginal employment and economic development, and cultural protection.
‘Racism in the AFL is a shameful betrayal of trust for all Aboriginal Territorians’
Sep 23, 2022
Chairman of the Northern Land Council, Samuel Bush-Blanasi has reflected on the continuing controversies about racist treatment of Aboriginal players in the AFL system.
NLC Corporate Plan 2022-23
Aug 31, 2022
The NLC Corporate Plan provides information about the significant activities which the NLC will undertake over the four years, 2022/23 to 2025/26
Historic meeting of NT Land Councils held on Gurindji country
Aug 26, 2022
The four NT Land Councils held a historic meeting on Gurindji country, on Thursday, 25 August 2022.
Submission on the NT Government’s draft Environment Protection Legislation Amendment (Chain of Responsibility) Bill 2022
Aug 16, 2022
The NLC’s submission on the NT Government’s draft Environment Protection Legislation Amendment (Chain of Responsibility) Bill 2022 supports the introduction of environmental chain of responsibility laws and calls on the government to apply the laws to all industry sectors, not only onshore petroleum. The submission focuses on the mining sector, where applying the laws would help to mitigate the significant risk of further legacy mine sites and their detrimental environmental outcomes.
Celebrating 10 years of successful two-way education
Aug 9, 2022
More than a hundred remote middle and senior school students, teachers, principals, rangers and coordinators from across the Northern Territory have come together (9th to 11th August) at Nitmiluk National Park to celebrate 10 years of the Learning on Country Program.