Our Priorities

The National Agreement on Closing the Gap

In July 2020 the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap came into effect. The National Agreement includes the following four Priority Reform Areas, as well as 16 socio-economic targets:

  • Priority Reform One – formal partnerships and shared decision-making
  • Priority Reform Two - building the community-controlled sector
  • Priority Reform Three - transform government organisations
  • Priority Reform Four – shared access to data and information at a regional level

Both the National Agreement and the Aboriginal Affairs Strategy complement each other and provide a comprehensive approach to Aboriginal Affairs in the Northern Territory. It is intended that, from 2022, reporting against the objectives of both of these policies will be integrated into one, unified report.

To find out more about the National Agreement on Closing the Gap you can visit Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APONT) and the Coalition of Peaks.


The First Nation peoples of the Northern Territory never ceded sovereignty of their lands, seas and waters and were self-governing in accordance with their traditional laws and customs.

In recognition of this, the NT Government is committed to commencing discussion on developing a Treaty (or Treaties) with First Nations peoples in the Northern Territory.

The Treaty Commission is independent of the NT Government and will conduct themselves in an open, transparent manner.  They have a responsibility to represent the voices of all Aboriginal Territorians on this important matter and bring non-Aboriginal Territorians along with this process.

The key objective of any Treaty in the Northern Territory must be to achieve real change and substantive, long term, benefits for Aboriginal people. The Treaty Commissioner will inquire, report, investigate and make recommendations to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory on how they can best achieve this.

To contact the Treaty Commission and for more information n please visit treatynt.com.au

Key information


Local Decision Making

Local Decision Making is a 10 year commitment to transfer, where possible, government service delivery to Aboriginal people and organisations based on their community aspirations. It is about government, Aboriginal representative organisations and Aboriginal people working together on: Housing, Local Government, Education and Training, Health, Looking after children, Law and Justice.

Some communities may want to focus on other services or programs such as: Sport and Recreation, Youth, Women and Men’s programs, Land and Sea Management and Business.

Government recognises that building, supporting and investing in, strong Aboriginal governance is necessary to ensure local people drive local solutions and that Aboriginal organisations are supported in the management of Local Decision Making.

There are a number of agreements between government and communities across the Territory. Some are signed Statement of Commitments, which are commitments by Government and community to explore LDM opportunities.  Whilst other agreements are at various stages of implementation. To view the latest information on LDM got to www.ldm.nt.gov.au.

Further to the above is the Barkly Regional Deal, a commitment by the three tiers of Government for the Barkly region, which is underpinned by LDM.

LDM Framework PDF (6.5 MB)


Department of the Chief Minister, Regional Network Group Regional Offices:

Barkly – 8962 4688  
Big Rivers – 8973 8533  
Central Australia – 8951 5511
East Arnhem – 8987 0554
Jabiru – 8999 5430
Top End – 8999 5430
Wadeye - 8999 5430

Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan

The NT Government has developed an Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan to better coordinate Aboriginal land and native title matters across the Northern Territory, and ensure land and sea ownership to delivers on the economic and social aspirations of Aboriginal Territorians.

The Action Plan contains 10 Actions the NT Government wants to implement in partnership with Traditional Owners, land councils, the Commonwealth Government and other affected stakeholders:

  1. Resolve all outstanding land claims;
  2. Resolve Blue Mud Bay fishing access arrangements
  3. Progress the Aboriginal Land Commissioner’s recommended changes to Part IV of the Land Rights Act, which relates to exploration and mining on Aboriginal land;
  4. Develop an NT Government Native Title Policy Framework;
  5. Develop a strategic approach to tenure and other issues in mining towns that will eventually become Aboriginal land;
  6. Work to enhance the opportunities for long-term leasing on Aboriginal land;
  7. Support the management of Aboriginal land;
  8. Support economic development and employment on Aboriginal land;
  9. Make improvements to NT legislation and administrative processes; and
  10. Continue to work with land councils to collect, collate and publish
  11. (on the Northern Territory Land Information System) non-confidential information about rights and interests granted in Aboriginal land in order to protect those interests and to provide certainty and transparency for all stakeholders

Actions range from resolving outstanding land claims and developing comprehensive native title policies, to supporting economic development and employment opportunities on Aboriginal land.

While everyone has their own priorities and views, we need to work together wherever possible, not just for the benefit of Aboriginal Territorians, but for all Territorians.

Download Aboriginal Land and Sea Action Plan PDF (4.9 MB)

Additional information

Aboriginal Land and Sea explained


Strategic Aboriginal Policy Unit
Phone: (08) 8999 8828
Email: CMC.AboriginalLand@nt.gov.au

Last updated: 25 March 2021

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