NT community living
A discussion paper on reforming community living area land in the Northern Territory has been released for public comment.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said during Stronger Futures consultations, Aboriginal people said they wanted to reduce barriers to economic development.
“Reforming community living areas is one way we are looking to help remove barriers to economic development,” Ms Macklin said.
She said a community living area was a small portion of land granted out of a pastoral lease and granted as conditional freehold to an Aboriginal community or family for residential purposes where Aboriginal people did not benefit from land granted under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.
|Discussion paper on reforms
She said there were more than 100 Aboriginal communities on community living area land in the Northern Territory and under Territory legislation there were restrictions on how community living area land could be used, even when the land owner agreed they wanted to put it to a different use.
Ms Macklin said currently, commercial development, private home ownership and some government services were not permitted on community living area land.
“For example, community living area land owners cannot use their land for an arts centre or a community store, or allow for investment in police stations,” she said.
Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon said reforms to community living areas aimed to extend opportunities for voluntary leasing to help promote economic development and home ownership.
“Giving Aboriginal people some confidence in the future of their communities to meet their needs, to encourage enterprise and to provide more opportunities into the future,” Mr Snowdon said.
“The Government wants to hear the views of community living area land owners, residents and stakeholders on reforms to benefit their communities into the future.”
The discussion paper can be accessed at this PS News link and submissions close 12 April.
Edition 353, 19 March 2013