Topic archives: Land Rights News

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

March 15, 2018

This is a re-post of an article first published in the February 2018 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) by the Northern Land Council. Birds are closely connected to Wardaman culture. Many Wardaman dances have been adapted from bird movements and much Wardaman rock art depicts birds.

The most shocking thing about the Four Corners footage is that the abuse was legal

The most shocking thing about the Four Corners footage is that the abuse was legal

July 26, 2016 1

"It would be an absurd result of the legislation if somehow more extreme force could be used in a case such as this, where a detainee is ‘at risk’, than would otherwise be the case in disciplining the detainee."

Unholy alliances:  The conservative forces at play against land rights: 1967-1976

Unholy alliances: The conservative forces at play against land rights: 1967-1976

June 20, 2016

Northern Territory Attorney General John Elferink: Land rights, he said, had become a “wall of imprisonment” blocking Aborigines from participating in northern development.

The Kenbi Land Claim explained – who gets what

June 20, 2016

The details of the settlement of Australia's longest-running Aboriginal land claim are contained in this article that was first published in the April 2016 edition of Land Rights News, produced by the Northern Land Council.

The battle for Cox Peninsula – the Kenbi Land Claim 1975 – 2016

June 20, 2016

In December 1978, just a few short months after the grant of (limited) self-government for the NT, the conservative CLP government promulgated the Town Planning Regulations, subsequently held to be invalid as made for an improper purpose, under the Town Planning Act (TPA) These regulations stated that large areas of land (including submerged lands in Darwin Harbour) surrounding Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Alice Springs were to be treated as if part of a town.

The ABC, the Country Liberal Party, the Kenbi land claim and a southern journalist.

The ABC, the Country Liberal Party, the Kenbi land claim and a southern journalist.

May 26, 2016 1

The Kenbi land claim survived. But it would face more challenges from CLP governments until a newly-elected Labor government decided in 2001 to call a halt to legal shenanigans and accept the December 2000 recommendations of Aboriginal Land Commissioner Peter Gray.

NT juvenile justice: “a blight on the entire Australian legal system”

NT juvenile justice: “a blight on the entire Australian legal system”

January 7, 2016 4

The debacle that has been exposed in the past two years within the NT juvenile justice system shows quite clearly that by deliberate design and policy Aboriginal children in are treated in a barbarous, inhumane and illegal way. Multiple incidents within the juvenile detention facilities have revealed that the NT Government prosecutes policies against Aboriginal children which include spit-hooding, gassing, hand cuffing, shackling and extensive periods of unlawful solitary confinement.

Five reasons why Yarralin must be returned: The battle for land rights at Yarralin, Part 3

Five reasons why Yarralin must be returned: The battle for land rights at Yarralin, Part 3

December 7, 2015

From the early days, young Aborigines were trained and used as labour on VRD and the number of white men, according to Big Mick, was very small, often only the manager, head stockman and cook. In those days the Aborigines received no wages, only rations of dry bread and beef, sugar and tea, and at the end of the season were given small amounts of tobacco, flour, sugar and tea: Dr. Partick McConville.

They never gave up the fight: the battle for land rights at Yarralin, Part 2.

They never gave up the fight: the battle for land rights at Yarralin, Part 2.

December 7, 2015

This article first appeared in the July 2015 edition of Land Rights News, published by the Northern Land Council and edited by Murray McLaughlin. WHEN the Federal government makes good on its commitment to hand back land* at Yarralin in the Victoria River District, it will have turned the last page of a long history […]

Jack Doolan, the VRD walk-off and the battle for land rights at Yarralin, Part 1.

Jack Doolan, the VRD walk-off and the battle for land rights at Yarralin, Part 1.

December 7, 2015

This article first appeared in the July 2015 edition of Land Rights News, published by the Northern Land Council and edited by Murray McLaughlin. JACK DOOLAN (14 June 1927–29 January 1995), a Patrol Officer with the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs, was a friend and champion of the Aboriginal workers at Victoria River Downs station who walked off […]

Vale Helen Ester. 3 December 1944 to 31 October 2015

Vale Helen Ester. 3 December 1944 to 31 October 2015

November 10, 2015

Helen Ester led by example, her belief in social justice and equal rights for all people never wavering while she kept kicking against the pricks to the very end. Her affiliations were with those consigned to the margins: working-class men and women, immigrants and refugees, and especially Indigenous peoples, who she considered her greatest educators and mentors. We champion you now, Vale Helen.

Abbott’s white paper for the black tropics: Boon or boondoggle?

Abbott’s white paper for the black tropics: Boon or boondoggle?

June 19, 2015 4

"Developing North Australia" is, somewhat surprisingly, a curate's--or perhaps in this case a failed seminarian's--egg. Good in parts and in small measure. But as Longfellow said, "When she was good, She was very, very good, And when she was bad she was horrid."

NT juvenile detention system – unhealthy, incompetent, punitive and in crisis

NT juvenile detention system – unhealthy, incompetent, punitive and in crisis

May 1, 2015 2

The NT's juvenile detention system is in crisis, its management is incompetent, staff are undertrained, operational practices are haphazard and overly-punitive, and there’s been cover-ups when things go wrong. And the system is doing nothing to rehabilitate the young people whom it locks up.

Gulag Territory – how the NT leads the world in indigenous incarceration

Gulag Territory – how the NT leads the world in indigenous incarceration

February 19, 2015 3

Gulag NT spends more money per capita on Police and Corrections than any other Australian jurisdiction. It costs $100,000 per year to house each adult prisoner, and $200,000 for each juvenile. The present CLP Government has just opened its new Superjail (originally commissioned by the previous Labor Government) at a cost of $1 billion-plus. The Attorney-General has said it will ultimately cost the taxpayer $1.8B and take 30 years to pay off. It is the largest-ever NT Government outlay for a capital works project. Meanwhile, the present Government regularly makes significant cuts to education and health services. The Superjail is built to hold 1100 prisoners and is already close to full, so it won’t be long until another will be required.

Jeffrey Lee’s Koongarra – where love for land trumps love for money.

Jeffrey Lee’s Koongarra – where love for land trumps love for money.

February 16, 2015

“I have said no to uranium mining at Koongarra because I believe that the land and my cultural beliefs are more important than mining and money. Money comes and goes, but the land is always here." Jeffrey Lee, November 2014.

“Kabindi-kebdjirrkkan kurebeh kondabeh” – understanding Township Leasing in the NT

“Kabindi-kebdjirrkkan kurebeh kondabeh” – understanding Township Leasing in the NT

November 7, 2014 1

Any rights they would have previously enjoyed under the Land Rights Act to “free, prior and informed consent” about sub-leases would no longer apply. “Bolkkime ngarri-bekkan manekke kun-wok!”-“That’s the first time we have heard/understood this information.”

Elliott, NT. The town the Northern Territory forgot …

Elliott, NT. The town the Northern Territory forgot …

August 21, 2014

"This is just bullshit; it’s all gone backwards. Everything goes to Tennant Creek (headquarters of Barkly Council). We want to get Elliott going again, but Tennant Creek just shoots us down in flames," Councillor Ray Aylett.

Djambuy’s case and the recognition of Aboriginal customary law

February 6, 2014 4

"This is the first time in a long time that Balanda (European) and Yolngu laws have worked together like this. Yolngu are not asking for a separate system. This is about creating a dialogue between the two systems."