The Gunyangara community in Arnhem Land is a step closer to securing an historic 99-year township lease after traditional owners today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Government.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, joined Galarrwuy Yunupingu and other Gumatj traditional owners to sign the MoU during the 2015 Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land.
“The MoU outlines key features of the township lease and sets the stage for more discussions about what will work for the community.
“A lease would provide significant benefits by allowing subleases to be granted in commercial timeframes which can help to attract investment.
“The community township leasing model has been developed at the request of the traditional owners in Gunyangara, who have strong local business organisations and want to strengthen local decision-making in their community.”
Minister Scullion said the community entity model would strike the right balance between local decision-making and land tenure arrangements to support economic development and home ownership.
“We already know that township leasing can help with home ownership and getting more businesses and jobs to come to communities, but the Government understands that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work for everyone. Traditional owners need to have options,” Minister Scullion said.
“Gunyangara can provide a model for other communities that want to administer a township lease over their own communities in future, giving traditional owners a new option when determining tenure arrangements that work best for them.
“The Government will continue to work with traditional owners about a lease that works for their community.”
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2015-07-31 Media Release – Gunyangara a step closer to township lease.pdf