Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
39 When tabling the report in the Legislative Assembly, in addition to addressing specific recommendations, the then Chief Minister stated: The two key themes from the report are the complex arrangements in place in relation to the delivery of services on town camps and the need for greater engagement and consultation. This reinforces the governments decision to undertake a comprehensive and inclusive review of town camps in the Northern Territory with the aim of delivering better services. The aim of the town camp review is to find new opportunities to improve living conditions on these communities. The key areas to be considered in the review include lease arrangements, infrastructure, service delivery, housing legislation and capacity for local organisations to be engaged in the economy. Importantly, the review recognises that a one-shoe-fits-all model will not work for all town camps. Rather, the review will develop place-based approaches specific to each individual town camp. For this reason, I have asked the Department of Local Government and Community Services, which is coordinating the review, to include considerations of the reports findings and recommendations in the town camp review. Living on the edge, the Northern Territory Town Camps Review report was published in April 2018. It made a number of general recommendations relating to governance, land tenure, leasing and legislation which are of relevance to the issues discussed in my report. The NT Government has published an Initial Response to the Town Camps Review Report and an Initial Response to the Town Camps Review Report Recommendations. It has created a Town Camps Futures Unit to guide future progress. Some of the general recommendations of particular relevance in the context of my report are set out below, along with the NT Governments initial position and comments. Land Tenure, Leasing and Legislation Recommendation Position Comments Create certainty in land tenure Current tenure arrangements should be simplified and restructured so that town camp owners are empowered to control their own space and seek development opportunities. Support inprinciple, subject to further consultation The Northern Territory Government will work with landowners, residents and the Australian Government to ensure the land tenure arrangements are fit for purpose and provide contemporary options for long-term sustainability. This aligns with the Northern Territory Governments broader commitment to ensure land ownership delivers on economic and social aspirations of Aboriginal Territorians. Remove or reduce restrictive legislation A statutory review of the Special Purpose Lease Act should be undertaken to modernise its provisions, and remove restrictive barriers to land dealings. Support The Northern Territory Government will undertake a statutory review of the Special Purpose Lease Act that focuses on improved opportunities and outcomes for town camp residents which are practical and achievable. Consultation with special purpose lease holders and the broader community will be undertaken. This aligns with the Northern Territory Governments broader commitment to ensure land ownership delivers on economic and social aspirations of Aboriginal Territorians.