Territory Stories

Annual Report 1988-1989 Department of Lands and Housing



Annual Report 1988-1989 Department of Lands and Housing

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Tabled Paper 1161


Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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hearing only has been held in relation to Kenbi. Since the commencement o f the legislation in 1977, a total o f one hundred and twenty three (123) claims have been lodged of which twenty three (23) have been granted in whole or in part. Five (5) claims are currently before the Land Commissioner; in one (1), Sir William Kearney is writing his report; six (6) are awaiting Ministerial decision; two (2) have been rejected and in one (1) at Cobourg, a negotiated settlement was reached some years ago. A significant number await hearing. Aboriginal land in the Territory totals an estimated 463 448 square kilometres or 34% of the Territory. A further 175 380 square kilometres or 13% is under claim and awaiting hearing. This Department researches and prepares the an th ropo log ica l repo rts fo r the Government. Land Claims to Stock Routes and Reserves In September 1987, a W orking Party com prising represen tatives from the Territory Government, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the Northern Land Council and Central Land Council was established to deter-mine if agreement could be reached for the grant of specific areas of public purpose land and/or pastoral lease land in exchange for the withdrawal of claims to stock routes and reserves. The progress o f the Working Party was limited by the withdrawal of co-operation o f the N.T. Cattlem ens Association following failure o f the Commonwealth Government to honour its undertaking to stop claims to stock routes and reserves. As progress was not possible the Territory G overnm ent w ithdrew from form al participation in the Working Party. Agreements have been recommended in eleven (11) of the forty-one (41) areas p ro p o s e d b y th e L and C o u n cils . C o n firm a tio n o f fo u r (4 ) o f these agreements have been received and an offer o f Freehold Title under the Real Property Act has been made to the Aboriginal claimants. The issue o f title for six (6) areas will proceed on the completion of legal formalities. Aboriginal Programs The servicing o f land on remote Aboriginal C o m m u n itie s w as a new p ro g ram undertaken by the Department in 1988/ 89. The assumption of this responsibility under the mainstreaming policy has led to the formation of the Aboriginal Programs Branch which has the responsibility for the management and coordination o f the Aboriginal Housing Program, the Land Servicing Program, the Serviced Land Availability Plan (SLAP) Program and th e T o w n C a m p s H o u s in g a n d Infrastructure Program (TCHIP). Aboriginal Serviced Land Availability Plan Program An amount of $100 000 from the tied CSHA grant for Aboriginal Housing was allocated to the Serviced Land Availability Plan Program (SLAP). This year has seen the consolidation of past effort in regard to the SLAP Program and reports on twenty five (25) communities are now available in a standard easily read format, with another fifteen (15) reports at an advanced stage.