The Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) and the Northern Territory (NT) Government today signed the Groote Archipelago Local Decision Making Agreement.
The binding agreement outlines Anindilyakwa priorities and timeframes for transition to local control in the areas of housing, education, health, local government, economic development, law and justice and environmental sustainability.
The agreement recognises the long established and strong systems of Anindilyakwa governance and leadership, and sets out how ALC, the NT Government, other stakeholders and the Anindilyakwa people will work together to transition decision making and service delivery for the Groote Eylandt communities over the next decade.
ALC chair Tony Wurramarrba said it was time to celebrate because it marked the NT Government’s solemn commitment to return control of local decisions to Traditional Owners.
“This agreement represents a future for the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Archipelago that is decided by our people, for our people," Mr Wurramarrba said.
"We will work with the NT Government to undertake this important work under this agreement over the next decade and make these changes for the benefit of our people.”
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said “the old way" was finished.
"Today we embark on a significant journey to give decision-making power back to where it belongs, in the hands of the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Archipelago," Mr Gunner said.
“This means Government giving up decision making power to communities in areas like housing, education, justice, local government, health and looking after kids."
The agreement is one of nine Local Decision Making agreements now signed or underway across the Territory, developed in accordance with the principles of self-determination; flexible place based approaches; co-design; and community control. More information on Local Decision Making agreements can be found at ldm.nt.gov.au