The NT Government has three key priorities within the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio, being:
- Exploring Treaty options;
- The transfer of Government service delivery to Aboriginal communities through Local Decision Making; and
- Ensuring land and sea ownership delivers on the economic and social aspirations of Aboriginal people.
This will be achieved through the creation of a renewed Aboriginal Affairs Strategy that provides the overarching whole-of-government framework that will unify the work.
‘Everyone Together’ Aboriginal Affairs Strategy
The ‘Everyone Together’ Aboriginal Affairs Strategy (the Strategy) was officially launched in March 2020.
The Strategy is a 10 year plan that provides a way for the NT Government to reshape how it works with Aboriginal Territorians to support community aspirations and achieve better outcomes. The Strategy is focused on Aboriginal families, children and communities and reflects the importance of ensuring that people and place are at the centre of government policy design and service delivery, and are empowered to determine their own futures.
Everyone Together will keep track of the challenges, progress and improvements across 10 Focus Areas:
- Truth and healing
- Language and culture;
- Land and sea;
- Children and families;
- Housing and essential infrastructure;
- Justice; and
- Jobs and economy.
Performance and Reporting Framework
A Performance and Reporting Framework has been developed to detail the work undertaken by the NT Government to improve outcomes identified in the ‘Everyone Together’ Aboriginal Affairs Strategy. The Framework will gather data that will be used to inform government and community on the outcomes of policies and programs to support future decision making.
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
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NTG and the four Land Councils
- Barunga Agreement: Joint Land Councils and Northern Territory Government Statement
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.
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:
- Resolve all outstanding land claims;
- Resolve Blue Mud Bay fishing access arrangements
- 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;
- Develop an NT Government Native Title Policy Framework;
- Develop a strategic approach to tenure and other issues in mining towns that will eventually become Aboriginal land;
- Work to enhance the opportunities for long-term leasing on Aboriginal land;
- Support the management of Aboriginal land;
- Support economic development and employment on Aboriginal land;
- Make improvements to NT legislation and administrative processes; and
- Continue to work with land councils to collect, collate and publish
- (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.
Strategic Aboriginal Policy Unit
Phone: (08) 8999 8828
Last updated: 27 November 2020
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