Joint Media Release with Country Liberals Candidate For Lingiari, Tina Macfarlane
More than 50,000 hectares of land have today been recognised as Aboriginal land around Yarralin as part of the Coalition’s commitment to recognising Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said today was a day for the Yarralin community to celebrate the resolution of its long fight for land rights.
“Today’s ceremony formally recognises the land as Aboriginal land, something traditional owners have known to be the case for many generations,” Minister Scullion said.
“I thank the traditional owners for their perseverance and patience in fighting for this claim and look forward to working with them to ensure the land can now be best utilised for the benefit of the Yarralin community. This could include commercial development and home ownership if traditional owners are keen for this to occur.
“I welcome the interest the traditional owners have expressed in a township lease for the Yarralin community as an option to improve the existing land administration arrangements.
“I am also pleased that together with the Country Liberals Northern Territory Government, we have allocated a significant investment in housing in Yarralin – including 20 new houses and 17 upgrades.”
Minister Scullion acknowledged the close link the parcel of land had with the historic walk-offs from Wave Hill Station and Victoria Downs Station when Aboriginal stockmen and their families stopped work in protest at poor wages.
“The walk-offs were pivotal moments in the lead up to the land rights movement and a vital part of the process that led to today’s grant of land.”
Country Liberals candidate for Lingiari, Ms Tina MacFarlane, said today was a historic day that recognised the traditional owners as the rightful owners of the land.
“I am delighted the traditional owners and the Yarralin community have had the uncertainty of the land claim resolved and can now look forward to managing their land in a simpler, more productive way,” Ms MacFarlane said.
The grant is a result of the Wickham River Land Claim (No. 76) that was submitted by the Northern Land Council on 18 November 1983. The land, known as NT Portion 7236, has been granted to the Ngalkarrang-Wulngann Aboriginal Land Trust under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.