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Impact of mining royalties on N.T. Aboriginals



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IMPACT OF MINING ROYALTIES ON N.T. ABORIGINALS

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Ian Viner, today tabled a report in Parliament on-The Impact of Mining Royalties on Aboriginal Communities in the Northern Territory.

The report was prepared by a Sydney Management Consultant, Mr Shann Turnbull for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. It states that uranium royalties received by Aboriginals will make a far greater impact on the N.T. economy than all other income expected to be received by N.T. residents on the present methods of managing resource development.

Mr Viner today described the report as a Nvaluable contribution to future economic and social planning in the Northern Territory.

"The report clearly shows that the impact of mining royalties will have repercussions throughout the whole Northern Territory which will ultimately affect the futures of all of its citizens", Mr Viner said. .

"Mr Turnbull is working on a second report to the Department dealing with problems of self-sufficiency of Aboriginal communities. These two reports should greatly assist the Commonwealth in its planning in the future and in the development of its policies for Aboriginal

self-sufficiency and self-management." ' ยท

Among major recommendations of the first report are:

. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs should immediately , develop a phase-out program, to.be complete within 10 to 15 years, by which time all Aboriginal institutions and organisations will be completely self-managing and financially self-sufficient. This program should

protect and further Aboriginal culture through, for instance, emphasising social rather than financial accountability by the Aboriginal organisations which would replace government agencies.

. All mining royalties and rents should be negotiated on a basis to include an annual escalating equity interest so as to provide 100% resident ownership and control within 15 to 20 years. This would minimise adverse long-term social and political impact of resource

exploration on the N.T. generally and short-term costs and risks for resource investment.

Mr Turnbull foresees the long-term potential impact of these recommendations as creating a total N.T. economy self-sufficient enough to become a net exporter of wealth to the other States.

The report calls for an education program to be introduced as a matter of urgency to explain the political implications of discretionary money power in the newly created institutions of Land Councils, Aboriginal Councils and Associations.

CANBERRA A.C.T. 24 May 1978