Full Council ratifies agreements, applications
THE Northern Land Council’s 106th Full Council Meeting, held at Timber Creek last week, saw discussion on a number of key issues together with NLC policy direction during the five-day long meeting.
Full Council refers to the 83-strong membership of the Northern Land Council and its constituents across the organisation’s seven regions: Borroloola-Barkly, Darwin-Daly-Wagait, East Arnhem, Katherine Region, Ngukurr Region, VRD and West Arnhem. The NLC has offices in each of those regions staffed by qualified local people.
All up, Full Council ratified 36 land use agreements and five mineral exploration applications.
NLC and Full Council also welcomed at Timber Creek as special guests the Minister for Indigenous Health, Senator Warren Snowdon, and Opposition spokesman for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion; the two each holding a question-and-answer session, presentation and open discussion with members that was also attended by national media.
NLC Chairman, Wali Wunungmurra, later endorsed Senator Scullion’s comments of the council’s place in the Top End landscape.
Mr Scullion commended the professionalism of the NLC and said recent talk of breakaway land councils was impractical.
“I don’t think 40 land councils would be ideal; the fact that you speak as one as the Northern Land Council is a strong part of what you do. I’m very clear about this,” Senator Scullion said.
“My personal view is that the Northern Land Council is doing a great job.”
While presenting encouraging statistics on the improved rate of Indigenous people’s health in the Top End, especially among the young, Mr Snowdon said there was much to do to improve the health of Indigenous Territorians.
FCMs are held twice a year and are preceded by seven Regional Council Meetings.