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Special purpose lease granted to Gurindji people



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STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS, MR GORDON BRYANT, AND THE MINISTER FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY, MR KEP BNDBRBY.

The Gurindji people have been granted a special purpose

lease to establish their homestead at Wattie Creek in the

Northern Territory,

The lease, signed by the Minister for the Northern

Territory, Mr Kep Enderby, with the concurrence of the Minister

for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Gordon Bryant, has been issued to the

Murranrulla Gurindji Company Pty Ltd.

It covers an area of eight square miles within the

Wave Hill pastoral lease.

The specified purposes of the lease are for a

communal settlement and ancillary purposes.

The Murramulla Gurindji Company Pty Ltd applied to

the previous Federal Government last year for a lease for the

purposes of " residential, cultural and depasturing of stock and

horse activities" within the area surrounding Wattie Creek,

The Ministers stressed that the granting of the

homestead lease did not ( not) prejudice in any way the

larger area which the Gurindji people were seeking for

pastoral purposes,

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The granting of the lease would enable the v: V ..

Gurindjis to own Wattie Creek and the land in the immediate ;

vicinity and to obtain a cattle brand.

In January, during his first tour of Northern

Territory Aboriginal communities as Minister for Aboriginal

Affairs, Mr Bryant told the Gurindgis they would obtain an

area sufficient for a cattle enterprise in their tribal land.

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In December, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs

chartered a light aircraft to enable two separate groups of

Gurindji elders to identify their tribal area.

The navigation was left entirely to them and they

knew where they were at all times.

Both groups concurred on a central heartland.

Since then, a pastoral consultant has been engaged

to examine the area claimed by the elders with a view to

establishing the amount of land needed for a viable property.

Mr Justice A.E. Woodward is now examining the way

in which land should be vested in Aboriginal communities.

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Canberra 18.3<>73