The NLC draws line in sand on unlawful activity on Aboriginal land

Date: Nov 4, 2020

Publication Type: Media Releases

Subject: Permits

The NLC has called for any person on Aboriginal land in the NLC area without a valid permit, lease or licence issued by the Land Council to leave immediately.

Mimal Rangers around a buffalo. Picture: Mimal

That call follows the release of shocking images provided by the Mimal Rangers from Weemol/Bulman showing the wanton destruction of trophy buffalo by safari hunters in the Mount Catt area in central Arnhem Land. 

Those events were recorded in the media release and associated video footage released by Mimal Land Management earlier today (see here).

NLC Chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi said, “Not only did those hunters enter Aboriginal land without a proper permit or section 19 licence to muster buffalo from the NLC, but they also disrespected and ignored the clear instructions to leave his country from a senior traditional owner for that country. Then they drove onto sacred sites, shot and beheaded valuable trophy buffalo and left their carcasses to rot.

“Enough is enough. This shameless disregard for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal law has got to stop and stop right now. The NLC put everyone on notice earlier this year when we restricted access to remote communities and suspended the issue of recreational permits to enter Aboriginal land during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mr Bush-Blanasi.

NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour said, “What has been clear to me over the last 18 months since I started at the NLC is that for far too long too many individuals and organisations have been taking terrible liberties with the permit system.

“For that reason we’ve established an NLC compliance unit that is investigating illegal activity on Aboriginal Land, we’ve increased our support for prosecutions by the NT Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and we are working with the other NT Land Councils to get increased penalties and an expanded range of offences under the Land Rights Act. 

"Again, we put people on notice – if you are on Aboriginal land without a valid permit or a section 19 lease or licence issued by the NLC you should leave, and leave now,” said Ms Scrymgour.