Joint Media Release with Country Liberals Candidate For Lingiari Tina Macfarlane
A significant parcel of land in the Simpson Desert has been recognised as Aboriginal land by the Commonwealth at an historic ceremony in Santa Teresa today.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said today’s land hand-back – covering 110,000 hectares of land to the south west of Alice Springs – was a momentous day for the Uleperte and Uleralkwe traditional owners.
“It is great to be here with the traditional owners and Central Land Council to recognise this part of the Simpson Desert as Aboriginal land and I acknowledge the importance it has to the traditional owners, particularly the many important sacred sites,” Minister Scullion said.
“This parcel of land was not included in a grant of land under the former Labor Government in 2011. Following representations to me by the Central Land Council, the Coalition agreed that the traditional owners of the area should be recognised.
“This confirms to the traditional owners what has always been and what they have always known – that this is Aboriginal land.
“The grant is part of the Simpson Desert Land Claim Stage IV, one of the longest running land claims in the Northern Territory and I acknowledge the commitment and perseverance of the traditional owners and Central Land Council over the past 36 years to make this possible.
“The Turnbull Coalition is absolutely committed to the recognition of land rights and today’s event is the first of three grants of Aboriginal land that will occur this month involving more than 200,000 hectares of Aboriginal land.”
Country Liberals candidate for Lingiari, Ms Tina MacFarlane, also attended today’s event and said the grant recognised the traditional owners’ connection to the land and supported their desire to manage their own country.
“I look forward to seeing the traditional owners take the opportunities in front of them for land that has now been formally recognised as Aboriginal land,” Ms MacFarlane said.
The land, known as NT Portion 4208, has been granted to the Atnetye Aboriginal Land Trust under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.