Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (17 June 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (17 June 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 17 June 1986 involves major Territory agencies and coordinates their activities in de'livering services to Aboriginal communities. Members should note that Professor Turner's consultancy dealt with more than community government. The terms of reference also referred to the problems of Aboriginal crime and delinquency, new directions for Aboriginal economic development, and the effective delivery of essential services and government programs to Aboriginal communities. The report concludes with a series of recommendations in the following areas: community government, delivery of services, economic enterprise, crime and delinquency. The reader is cautioned against considering the recommendations outside the context of the total report. Some of the recommendations have been implemented in the course of consultancy whilst others will require more detailed consideration and coordination across other areas of government such as Correctional Services, Youth Sport and Recreation, and Business, Technology and Communications. I give an undertaking that officers of my department will commence appropriate discussions as soon as possible. My portfolio of community development carries the responsibility for Aboriginal affairs and, later this month, I will be attending a meeting of the Australian Council of Ministers for Aboriginal Affairs in Cairns. Land rights is an issue of crucial importance in Aboriginal affairs, and the issue is not absent from the report. Members may be aware that there was some opposition to community government from the Central Land Council, which engaged Mr Martin Mowbray as a consultant. There is no point in going over the details of the criticisms. Community government is proceeding, and the government has agreed that, when community government schemes are being drafted, the traditional owners of the areas involved wilT be consulted. It is interesting to note that, quite independently of the Central Land Council, the traditional owners of Barunga, the Jarwoyn people, were intimately involved in the development of the Barunga-Wugula scheme and its successful development was due to the attitude of the traditional owners. Professor Turner has commented that: 'The community government scheme reflects the generosity of the Landeroidj-Jawoyn people in relation to other people living on their land. The other language groups, though resident in the reserve area, in Aboriginal terms, are merely guests' . The principle behind the overall direction of the report is 'equality in interdependence for all segments of the Territory's population as situated within local government authorities of their own making'. Members will note that the report requires the insertion of 2 draft community government schemes, for Yuendumu and Barunga. It is not possible to insert these schemes until they are finally approved by the communities. Negotiations are at a sensitive and delicate stage. When finalised, the details of the 2 schemes will be provided for the information of members. The report requires some basic editing that is yet to be finalised with Professor Turner. Members have the report as it was presented to me. The Department of Community Development supports the thrust of the report. The consultant had total independence in writing the report, although the consultancy built on an already developed departmental initiative. One of the more significant aspects of the report is the focus on Aboriginal tradition and the consequent stress on the potential community government provides for Aboriginal people to retain those traditions while seeking a greater place in Australian society. Such an approach is consistent with the department's purpose and goal statements. 22

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.