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The Australian Government today released a discussion paper on reforming community living area land in the Northern Territory (NT).
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said that during Stronger futures consultations Aboriginal people told the Government that they wanted to reduce barriers to economic development.
A community living area is 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 (NT) Act 1976.
There are more than 100 Aboriginal communities on community living area land in the NT, including Alpurrurulam, Atitjere, Binjari, Bulla, Engawala, Imangara, Imanpa, Jilkminggan, Laramba, Minyerri, Rittarangu, Tara, Titjikala, Wilora, Wutunugurra (Epenarra) and Yarralin.
Under NT legislation there are restrictions on how community living area land can be used, even when the land owner agrees they want to put it to a different use.
Currently, commercial development, private home ownership and some government services are 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.
"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," Mr Snowdon said.
The Australian Government invites written feedback to the discussion paper by 12 April 2013. The Government will then hold consultations in communities.
The discussion paper is available here
Source: Office of Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Land and Economic Development Branch
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610