Local Decision Making: Giving Power to People

Aboriginalpeople on Groote Eylandt have taken another step towards taking control oftheir own affairs with the formal recognition of community-led approaches tolaw and rehabilitation, economic development and housing.

Chief MinisterMichael Gunner and Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) Chair Tony Wurramarrba todaysigned the first three priority Implementation Plans under the landmark GrooteArchipelago Local Decision Making Agreement.

Local DecisionMaking (LDM) is a Territory Labor Government commitment to provide opportunitiesto transfer decision making and government service delivery to Aboriginal control.

The Housing Implementation Plan is an agreement between the ALC, thenewly established Anindilyakwa Housing Aboriginal Corporation (AHAC) and theNorthern Territory Government (NTG) that includes:

o Supporting the AHAC to become a registeredCommunity Housing Provider under the National Regulatory Framework.

o A five-year, NTG and ALC joint-fundedcapital works program for housing and infrastructure to address overcrowding,provide serviced land and upgrade existing homes.

o A commitment by the Department of LocalGovernment, Housing and Community Development to progress Remote ContractingFramework Agreements for a range of housing-related services with AHAC andother Anindilyakwa groups.

o Progressive transition of all NorthernTerritory Government community housing on the Groote Archipelago to AHAC.

The Economic Development ImplementationPlan is anagreement between the ALC and NTG to create a viable, culturally rich andsustainable two-stream economy in the Groote Archipelago. It includes:

o Endorsement of an overarching economic planfor the Groote Archipelago, which includes sector development in mining,tourism, primary industries, forestry, human services and creative industries.

o A continued focus on supporting improvementsin transport, logistics and telecommunications to and from the GrooteArchipelago.

o A conditional commitment to a Tropical RockOyster aquaculture trial at Groote Eylandt and other support in the developmentof aquaculture industry growth.

o A commitment to facilitated project supportfor a range of existing and future projects including the Winchelsea Islandmining project.

The Law, Justice and RehabilitationImplementation Planaims to increase the involvement and leadership of the Anindilyakwa people inthe justice system, including accessing rehabilitation services and reducingthe number of Anindilyakwa people in the justice system. It includes:

o A commitment to establish a CulturalRehabilitation Centre to provide an alternative to custody for young males.

o A commitment to establishing a Law and OrderGroup to advise the Cultural Rehabilitation Centre as well as participate inCommunity Courts and other community safety initiatives.

Six other LDMshave been signed already Yugul Mangi, Jawoyn, Gurindji, Kardu/West Daly, BlueMud Bay and Yolgnu.

As stated by the ChiefMinister, Michael Gunner:

We are determined to restorelocal decision making to remote communities.

We know thatbuilding, supporting and investing in strong Aboriginal governance is necessaryto ensure local people drive local solutions and protect culture.

We know that self-determination is the ultimate way tomaximise the best outcomes for communities and create economic independence.

Thats why we implementedLocal Decision Making Agreements across the Territory and why weve worked withthe Anindilyakwa people to create pathways to self-sufficiency for the nextgeneration.

As stated by the ALC Chair,Tony Wurramarrba:

The Northern Territory Government promised the Anindilyakwa peoplelast year, when we signed the Groote Archipelago Local Decision MakingAgreement, that it will empower us with decision-making at a local level.

Now, these first three Implementation Plans will help us carry outthis mission and drive opportunities for our people to build a self-sufficientfuture that is guided by Anindilyakwa people and thatprotects Anindilyakwa culture.

We celebrate today a day that Chief Minister Gunner andrepresentatives of his government and departments have come to our island tomake these important promises.

/Public Release. View in full here.