Investing in Bush: Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan Released

The Territory Labor Governmentis delivering on its commitment to improve the lives of Aboriginal Territorianswith todays release of the Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan.

The comprehensive plan outlines10 actions that will facilitate Aboriginal Territorians to pursue their socialand economic aspirations through land and sea ownership, from supporting theresolution of the outstanding Aboriginal land claims to supporting traditionalcustodians to manage and maximise the opportunities their land and seaownership provides.

Currently, 48 per cent of theNorthern Territorys land mass and 80 per cent of its coastline is Aboriginalland. The vast majority of remaining land is, or will likely be, subject tonative title.

The new Aboriginal Land andSea Action Plan proposes a partnership approach with the CommonwealthGovernment, traditional owners, the four NT land councils and other keystakeholders to progress some of these big issues.

The 10 actions under the newplan include:

1. Resolve all outstanding land claims

2. Resolve Blue Mud Bay fishing accessarrangements

3. Progress the Aboriginal Land Commissionersrecommended changes to the Land Rights Act, relating to exploration and miningon Aboriginal land

4. Develop an NT Government Native Title PolicyFramework

5. Develop a strategic approach to tenure andother issues in mining towns that will eventually become Aboriginal land

6. Work to enhance the opportunities for long-termleasing on Aboriginal land

7. Support the management of Aboriginal Land

8. Support economic development and employment onAboriginal land

9. Make improvements to NT legislation andadministrative process

10. Supportimprovements to Commonwealth legislative processes.

Minister for AboriginalAffairs, Selena Uibo, announced the plan in Alice Springs this morning, wherework is already underway with the Central Land Council in relation to the jointmanagement of parks.

The Territory has 87 parks andreserves, many of which are jointly managed with traditional owners.

Last year, three millionpeople visited these parks, and the NT Government wants to work with both landcouncils and traditional owners to look at how the visitor experience in theseparks could be improved.

Quotesattributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Selena Uibo.

The Territory LaborGovernment is delivering for Aboriginal Territorians, with our local decisionmaking agenda and the appointment of our first ever Treaty Commissioner.

The Aboriginal Land and SeaAction Plan further delivers by supporting land and sea ownership to deliver onthe economic and social aspirations of Aboriginal Territorians.

Action seven, which includesreinvigorating the joint management of parks, is one example of how thegovernment can work with traditional owners, drawing upon thousands of years ofknowledge and wisdom, to improve the visitor experience in the NT.

We have consulted widely inthe development of this plan, not just with land owners and land councils, butwith key stakeholder groups, representing pastoralists, tourism operators,miners and fishers.

While everyone has their ownpriorities and views, taking a partnership approach where possible on these bigissues will not just benefit Aboriginal Territorians, but all Territorians.

/Public Release. View in full here.