News & Publications
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.
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 The NLC calls for the documents be withdrawn and an interim water allocation plan of up to three years duration be redrafted; that the NLC is part of an advisory group to undertake a streamlined,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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jun 14, 2022
The Northern Land Council (NLC) welcomes this opportunity to provide a submission on the Indigenous Ranger Sector Strategy 2022-2028 - Consultation Draft. We applaud the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) in acting on the need for an overarching, long-term strategy to strengthen this growing industry sector and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to set the direction of the programs, monitor and evaluate their achievements and adaptively manage this maturing industry sector.
Jan 21, 2022
The NLC has made a submission to the NT Government on the Strategic Water Plan Directions Paper, calling for Aboriginal people to be taken seriously in water management arrangements across the NT. Feedback from the community and stakeholders on the Directions Paper will be used by the Government to develop the Strategic Water Plan which will set the agenda for water management through to 2050.