Northern Land Council suspends permits from midday today

Date: Aug 16, 2021

Publication Type: Media Releases

Subject: Permits, Coronavirus

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The NLC has today suspended permits to enter and remain on Aboriginal Land in the NLC region from 12 midday on Monday 16 August 2021 until further notice.

The decision follows the announcement from the NT government that the Greater Darwin and Katherine regions will enter a 72-hour snap lockdown from 12 midday today after a positive Covid-19 diagnosis was returned on a person who had been in Darwin and Katherine.

NLC Acting CEO Joe Martin-Jard said he and the Chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi made the decision to suspend permits following Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s press conference and due to serious concerns expressed by Traditional Owners in the NLC area.

“In order to limit movement in and out of Aboriginal communities we are suspending permits today, until further notice,” Mr Martin-Jard said.

“There’s a real risk that the virus could get into our communities and we have to do everything we can to keep our elders and our entire communities safe.”

NLC Chairman Mr Bush-Blanasi encouraged Aboriginal people to stay on country where possible, to stay safe and get vaccinated.

“If you don’t need to travel, don’t. Stay at home in your community or on your homeland with your family. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated then get it done.”

The NLC will only process permits for Essential Workers – as defined by the Northern Territory Government – during this period.