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Native Title Act 1993—Native title representative bodies—Northern Land Council—Report for 2012-13


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Northern Land Council AN Nu

AL R

epoRt

2

012-2013 ou r Land, ou r Sea, ou r Life

Warramunburr Rangers keeping the fire alive.

Welcome to the Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Our Vision: …is a Territory in which the land rights of traditional owners are legally recognised and that they benefit economically, socially and culturally from the secure possession of their lands and seas.

Our Values: Our values are informed by the values of the Aboriginal people of our region and are consistent with Commonwealth standards.

Our Objective: Work towards achieving enhanced social, political and economic participation and equity for Aboriginal people in its jurisdiction as a result of the promotion, protection and advancements of their land rights, other rights and interests.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Measuring Our Performance Outcomes Framework The Northern Land Council (NLC), along with the other Northern Territory (NT) land councils, has adopted a consistent approach to measuring and reporting on performance. This reporting approach assists stakeholders to benchmark the NLC’s performance and to gain an understanding of the similarities and differences between the Land Councils.

The NLC is working to achieve enhanced social, political and economic participation and equity for Aboriginal people in its jurisdiction as a result of the promotion, protection and advancements of their land rights, other rights and interests.

Strategic Plan

The NLC engaged consultants OTS Management to undertake strategic planning workshops with the Full Council during 2011-2012. The Full Council provided direction to hold separate workshops with each of the seven Regional Councils; this resulted in an Executive Summary. The draft strategic plan now requires further editing and consultation with staff. It is anticipated that an updated version will be completed and presented to the new Full Council Meeting in 2014 for endorsement.

Throughout this financial reporting year, apart from our core legislative provisions the 2007-2011 Strategic Plan remained the guiding document that set out this organisation’s principal objectives. The new plan will build upon the achievements and describes its goals and vision for the future. The plan provides the framework for the continuing strategic management of the NLC and reflects the outcomes and outputs framework agreed with the Minister.

Throughout the life of the plan, the NLC intends to deliver its services by focusing on the key result areas of providing high quality professional advice, based on strong relationships with our clients, using highly skilled people and strategic partnerships.

The NLC’s strategic plan can be downloaded from the website at http://www.nlc.org.au .

Corporate Plan The NLC’s Corporate Plan describes how, in discharging its responsibilities under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA), Native Title Act 1993 (Native Title Act) and other relevant legislation, the NLC will set priorities, manage resources and achieve results for the traditional Aboriginal owners and affected Aboriginal people within our region.

The Corporate Plan describes:

» Who we are

» What we do

» Our vision

» Our values

» Our operating environment

» Our Outcomes and Key Result Areas

» Our Key Priorities and Programmes

» How we will measure our performance, and

» The factors that are critical to our success

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

To assist with the implementation of the Strategic and Corporate Plans the NLC has developed an integrated planning and performance framework.

The framework ensures that the strategic directions and performance requirements outlined in its Strategic and Corporate plans cascade into the lower level Output Group and Program plans. All subsidiary plans now have direct links with the Strategic Plan and provide progressively increasing levels of detail on the implementation of strategies and actions across the NLC’s output areas.

The planning framework that NLC reports on has been accepted as best practice and useful in satisfying performance audits of the NLC. The NLC acknowledges that policies and procedures should be reviewed in line with strategic directions of the organisation.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

2012-2013 Highlights & Challenges

Uncertainty over Ord River Stage 3

In February 2013 NLC met with native title holders and provided information sessions on the Northern Territory Government’s (NTG) desire to develop the expansion of the Ord River irrigation project into the NT. The area included Keep River Plain, Knox Creek Plain and Weaber Plain in the Victoria River District. The NTG provided a presentation on the broad development ideas. Native title holders considered the information and a strong contingent then travelled to Darwin to meet personally with Minister for Fisheries and Primary Industry, the Hon. Westra Van Holthe, to inform him they had significant cultural concerns with the project. The NLC questions the economic viability and benefits that will flow to the NT as a whole. NLC is yet to receive a detailed proposal from the NTG to commence consultations.

Photo 3: Ivanhoe Crossing, Ord River, Kununurra.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Roper Bar Iron Ore Projects

Western Desert Resources Western Desert Resources (WDR) owns the Roper Bar Iron Ore Mine located 60 kilometres south of Ngukurr; this mine is progressing rapidly towards production. The construction of the mine, haul road and associated infrastructure continues with WDR expecting to begin exporting iron ore by the end of December 2013. The iron ore from the mine will be transported by truck along a 165 kilometres private haul road to a new loading and export facility at the existing Bing Bong Port, near Borroloola. During the reporting period, an inaugural project committee meeting was held on site between nominated traditional owners, NLC staff and WDR project managers. The cultural monitor programmes, on-country consultations and community information events held throughout the year have allowed traditional owners and other local Aboriginal people to engage with this project. The NLC will continue to facilitate liaison committee meetings, consultations and other events associated with this project beyond 2013.

Sherwin Iron Sherwin Iron (Sherwin) is looking to develop another new mine, known as the Roper River Iron Ore Project which is located approximately 120 kilometres east of Mataranka. The NLC conducted extensive on-country consultations with the traditional owners throughout the course of the year to provide regular updates and to establish a liaison committee for this project. During the year, the NTG granted Sherwin approval to undertake a bulk sampling program to extract, transport and to export up to 200,000 tonnes of high grade iron ore from the project area. This will allow potential buyers to test the quality of the iron ore on site and to progress Sherwin’s plan to commence full mining operations in the near future. The NLC continues to negotiate towards an agreement and anticipates that the liaison committee meetings and other consultations will assist Aboriginal people to benefit from this project as it develops.

Photo 4: Western Desert Resources constructing a new loading and export facility at Bing Bong near Borroloola. Photo: Pam Dickenson

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Challenges: Senior Staff Vacancies Subsequent to the unexpected resignation by the Chief Executive Officer, Kim Hill in October 2012 a further two branch managers resigned soon after. Because of the timing factor and level of expertise required of senior management staff the recruitment process was expected to take longer. To ensure the day to day operations were not affected, the Executive Council appointed internal staff to the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Corporate Compliance and the core duties of the remaining position, the General Manager Commercial and Development were assumed by other staff.

Contents Measuring Our Performance 2

2012-2013 Highlights & Challenges 4

About This Report 14

Fast Facts 16

The Northern Land Council: Our Land, Our Sea, Our Life 18

A Word From Our Chairman 21

A Word From Our Chief Executive Officer 23

The Year in Review 24

Significant Issues and Development 25

Summary of Financial Performance 27

Strategic Plan 30

Shaping the NLC Region’s Future 31

The Year Ahead 35

Council Information 37

Regional Map 38

Our Council 39

Our Executive Council Members 40

Our Full Council Members 44

Council Meetings 46

Our People 50

Organisational Structure as at 30 June 2013 52

Branch Overview 53

Management of Human Resources 55

Safe Work Environment 57

Performance 59

Permits 61

Land & Sea Management & Natural Resources 65

Land and Sea Management 66

Parks and Reserves 84

Land Claims & Acquisitions Support Services 90

Land Claims 91

Native Title Report 98

About The Native Title Act 99

Native Title Quick Facts 99

Native Title Determination Applications 100

Other Functions 104

Economic Development and Commercial Services 107

Land Use Agreements 108

Employment, Education and Training 111

Mining (Includes Energy & Resources Exploration) 114

Commercial Development 128

Advocacy Services 133

Public Awareness & Education 134

Advocacy and Representation 135

Cultural and Heritage Support 139

Repatriation of Ancestral Remains and Significant Cultural Items 145

Community Development Support 148

Administration and Support Services 152

Distributions 153

Administering Aboriginal Land Trusts 153

Mediation and Dispute Resolution 154

Governance 155

Corporate Governance 156

Information Communications and Technology 161

Committees 162

NLC Financial Report 164

Financial Reporting: Native Title 204

Glossary of Terms 232

Compliance Index 234

maps

Map 1: The proposed Pacific Aluminium gas pipeline project route requires extensive consultations. 35

Map 2: An overview of the Ord River Project on the Western Australia side and proposed expansion into the Northern Territory. 36

Map 3: Shows the seven NLC Regions including the Regional Office locations. 38

Map 4: Distribution and operational area of Aboriginal Land & Sea Management Groups. 68

Map 5: Map showing fire scars and aerial burning done by Waanyi Garawa Rangers in 2013. 75

Map 6: Fire scar map showing aerial burning routes completed by Garawa Rangers. 76

Map 7: Map showing aerial burning routes completed by NLC Rangers in CALFA. 77

Map 8: National Parks & Conservation Reserves overlaid on Aboriginal owned land. 84

Map 9: Red line shows original Central Arnhem Road and Goyder River crossing. White line corridor is the new road alignment. 92

Map 10: Shows the status of native title claims in NLC’s jurisdiction. 101

Map 11: Mineral Exploration in NLC Region. 115

Map 12: Petroleum Exploration in the NLC Region. 120

Map 13: Significant GIS Mapping Projects. 143

tables

Table 1: Full Council Meeting dates and attendance record during 2012-13. 46

Table 2: Executive Council Meeting dates and attendance record during 2012-13. 48

Table 3: Regional Council Meeting dates and venue during 2012-13. 49

Table 4: Staff Profile includes ABA, native title and Grant funded positions. 55

Table 5: Statistics relate to the native title claims processes. 100

Table 6: ALRA Part IV Exploration Licence Applications Workload. 118

Table 7: Resources & Energy Consultations On-Country 2012-13. 119

Table 8: Registered land interest references released by activity. 140

Table 9: Burial & Ceremony Applications by Region 2012-13. 144

figures

Figure 1: 5 Year Trend—Full Time Employment Statistics. 55

Figure 2: Future Act Notifications by Tenement Type in the NLC region—Total 126. 103

Figure 3: 5 Year Trend 2008-13— Future Act Notifications in the NLC region. 104

Figure 4: Mineral Exploration Licence Applications for the whole of the Northern Territory 2012-13, the pie chart distinguishes applications held on Aboriginal Freehold and Native Title lands. 117

Figure 5: Exploration Licence Applications by Land Council Region 2012-13. 117

Figure 6: 5 Year Trend - Consultations Substantially Arranged but Postponed 2008-13. 126

Figure 7: 5 Year Trend 2008-13: Measuring our Progress against the 20 meetings target. 127

Figure 8: 5 Year Trend 2007-12—Annual total of requests made for LIRs. 140

Figure 9: Full text search interface. 141

Figure 10: The LIR is geographically referenced by the 1:100,000 scale topographic map sheet, which provides quick direction to relevant ethnographic material. 142

Figure 11: GIS Mapping Workload. 142

photos

Photo 1: [Front Cover] Warramunburr Rangers keeping the fire alive.

Photo 2: Each new day our culture, vision and values are invigorated. 1

Photo 3: Ivanhoe Crossing, Ord River, Kununurra. 4

Photo 4: Western Desert Resources constructing a new loading and export facility at Bing Bong near Borroloola. Photo: Pam Dickenson 5

Photo 5: Looking out across Anson Bay. 16

Photo 6: One of the 1963 Bark Petitions that were presented to the Australian Parliament. 18

Photo 7: NLC Staff and Council Members relaxing after a Full Council Meeting. 19

Photo 8: Wali Wunungmurra, Chairman Northern Land Council. 21

Photo 9: Robert Graham performed the CEO role for the past eight months. 23

Photo 10: Tidal movements. With each new wave, new and old issues, developments, visions and experiences ebb and flow. 24

Photo 11: Sun going down over the Barkly Highway. 30

Photo 12: 105th Full Council Meeting—West Arnhem and Ngukurr Numbulwar Regions discussing land use agreement details with staff. 37

Photo 13: Full Council Women’s Sub-Committee. 44

Photo 14: Robert Gordon (clapsticks) and Simeon Bigfoot and other Kenbi Dancers performed a traditional smoking ceremony at Crab Claw Island to allow the November Full Council Meeting to proceed. 50

Photo 15: Ranger vehicles equipped for the NT terrain. 57

Photo 16: Successful crocodile egg hatching by Gurruwiling Rangers in the east Arnhem Land Region. 59

Photo 17: Timber Creek Rangers doing restoration work on the Bullita Stockyards which were originally built in the 1930s. 60

Photo 18: Timber Creek Rangers doing manual restoration work on the Bullita Stockyards. 60

Photo 19: Wild horses on Peppimenarti wetlands. 62

Photo 20: Aerial spraying of mimosa pigra. 65

Photo 21: Supervised aerial sprays of severe Mimosa pigra wetland invasion. 65

Photo 22: Rangers receiving firearms training. 66

Photo 23: Rangers erecting Entering Aboriginal Land Trust information sign. 70

Photo 24: Women Ranger undertaking a weed management survey. 71

Photo 25: Garawa Rangers planning aerial burning with traditional owners and junggay at Robinson River. 74

Photo 26: Waanyi Garawa Rangers putting a firebreak around Wangalinji. 75

Photo 27: Mr Bill Harney protecting art sites with early dry season firebreaks on Menngen Aboriginal Land Trust. 76

Photo 28: NLC rangers completing Fire Fighting 1 training with Bushfires NT. 77

Photo 29: CALFA regional planning meeting at Murganella in June 2013. 77

Photo 30: The Goyder River catchment provides ideal breeding habitat for the invasive buffalo. 79

Photo 31: An example of channelling and significant soil disturbance caused by buffalo. This track site was documented in December 2009. 80

Photo 32: Taken in 2011, shows the same track as documented in 2009, the track has since eroded into a 450mm deep channel in less than two years. 81

Photo 33: The buffalo channel, now known locally as Saltwater Intrusion Creek, has become approximately 4 metres wide in parts and more than 1 metre deep and has extensive weed invasion. 81

Photo 34: Large herds of buffalo degrade significant areas of wetlands over a short space of time. 82

Photo 35: Buffalo channelling also creates access ways for salt water intrusion. Substantial salt water intrusion would permanently destroy the Arafura catchment. 82

Photo 36: Animals were shot from mobile helicopter platforms by professional contractors. 83

Photo 37: Rangers performing disease monitoring checks. If clear provides food sustenance for remote outstation or community residents. 83

Photo 38: Traditional Owner Members of the Judbarra Joint Committee Meeting. 85

Photo 39: Mary River National Park Committee. 86

Photo 40: Adelaide River Joint Management Committee. 87

Photo 41: Wagiman women traditional owners discuss joint management arrangements with Parks and Wildlife staff. 88

Photo 42: Mr Bill Harney, Wardaman elder testing out a new looking didjeridoo. 90

Photo 43: Consultation Meeting relating to the Goyder River Bridge. 92

Photo 44: Goyder River crossing looking west prior to road works. 93

Photo 45: Looking east at the new main Goyder Bridge works. 93

Photo 46: Yak Diminin Dancers—Wadeye Ceremony 2011. 94

Photo 47: Traditional owners and custodians travel the proposed pipeline access route. 94

Photo 48: Proposed pipeline access track point. 95

Photo 49: Traditional owner Carol Nayilibidj and Eva Molnar the West Arnhem Anthropologist updating clan genealogies. 95

Photo 50: A new fishing safari operation being established at this site near the mouth of the Woolen River. 96

Photo 51: Bootu Creek—a registered site of significance prior to mining activity. 98

Photo 52: Bootu Creek—the registered site of significance desecration as a consequence of mining activity. 98

Photo 53: Group 8 Native Title Claim Cluster—Dry River Katherine West—Sturt Plateau Region. 102

Photo 54: Bill Danks, Darwin Council Member addresses the 105th Full Council Meeting. 107

Photo 55: Francis Creek Mine Training Graduates May 2012. 112

Photo 56: Annual Environmental Audit of Ranger Uranium Mine. 113

Photo 57: Victoria River District Regional Council Members receive a briefing from Mining Branch Senior Project Officer. 114

Photo 58: Traditional Aboriginal Owners at a petroleum consultation in Wadeye. 116

Photo 59: Seismic Exploration Survey on Tanumbirini Station, Borroloola Barkly Region. Photo: supplied by Santos Ltd 121

Photo 60: NLC mining staff member, Greg McDonald conducting an environmental audit of R3 Deeps Exploration Decline at Ranger Uranium Mine. 122

Photo 61: The audit team inspecting the ventilation shaft at the closed Jabiluka Uranium Mine site. 123

Photo 62: The Audit team inspecting water management infrastructure at the Ranger Uranium Mine. 124

Photo 63: Western Desert Resources constructing the new loading facility at Bing Bong Port near Borroloola. Photo: Pam Dickenson 124

Photo 64: Soil sampling at the Ngukurr site. 129

Photo 65: Soil samples ready for laboratory testing. 129

Photo 66: Trepang researcher Andrea Birch from the Aquaculture Branch, NTG helped by CDEP aquaculture workers, pouring young trepang down a chute to the sea floor. 130

Photo 67: Blacklip edible oysters grew well at Maldbark Bay, Goulburn Island after 7 months at sea. Note how clean the shells are. 131

Photo 68: Floating oyster baskets can be easily accessed from a boat at any time. 131

Photo 69: Warruwi women planning their Healthy Tucker Programme, supported by The Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University. 132

Photo 70: Collection of promotional materials to raise awareness and education. 133

Photo 71: NT Seafood Council presented to the November 2012 Full Council Meeting on the commercial fishing industry. 135

Photo 72: NLC Council Members travelled to Tennant Creek to have their say in developing appropriate governance strategies. 137

Photo 73: The Arafura wetlands is where the Central Arnhem Regional Anthropologist gets to work, alongside traditional owners and custodians. 138

Photo 74: Christopher Galaminda (Danek), Bill Risk (Larrakia), Carol Christophersen (Murran), Stewart Gardel (Mirrar), Australian Consulate Staff and Thomas Amagula (Anindilyakwa) travelled to Brno in the Czech Republic to repatriate human remains on behalf of traditional owners, custodians and NLC. 145

Photo 75: Council Members were supported by relevant NLC staff to meet Museum Staff at Museum Victoria, Mcleay and Australian Museums. 146

Photo 76: Dhuwarrarr Marika, East Arnhem Executive Council Member, standing proudly behind her father’s painting. 147

Photo 77: Ladies travelling in a convoy. 150

Photo 78: Numbulwar Area. 152

Photo 79: Jabul Huddleston at Lewin Springs talking about land, water and the significance of country. 155

Photo 80: Beetles feeding off native vegetation. 162

Photo 81: Fire sensitive areas being protected by undertaking early burning regime—Sand Palm alight, Numbulwar. 164

Photo 82: Native flora being protected by traditional fire management practices. 204

About This Report The Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013 provides a comprehensive account of the Council’s performance from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

NLC continues to be guided by principles outlined in the 2007-2011 Strategic Plan. Although planning workshops were facilitated in 2012 it is anticipated a new Full Council elected in November 2013 will provide invaluable input to lead the organisation over their new 3 year term.

The Strategic Plan describes our vision, key objectives and strategies and should be read in conjunction with the overarching legislation, the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 and Native Title Act 1993.

The NLC continues an ambitious program of actions aligned to key strategic directions; enhanced social, political and economic participation and equity for Aboriginal people in the NLC’s jurisdiction through the promotion, protection and advancements of their land and water rights, human rights and interests.

The Annual Report highlights achievements and identifies future directions and attempts to foresee challenges to minimise risks in achieving outcomes throughout the year.

As a Commonwealth Statutory Authority, the NLC submits this report to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs for tabling in the Australian Parliament. The report aims to inform local, national and Australian government policy, constituents, staff, stakeholders, students, news media and the wider community.

Contact Us If you have any questions about this report please contact the Research & Policy Officer: trish.rigby@nlc.org.au (+61 8) 8920 5111 or for general assistance

Telephone: Pick up the phone between 8:00am and 4:37pm (CST) weekdays to call us on (+61 8) 8920 5100 or 1800 645 299 (Toll Free)

Post Write to us at Northern Land Council GPO Box 1222 Darwin NT 0801

Fax Send us a fax on (+61 8) 8945 2633

Web www.nlc.org.au

Email Reception@nlc.org.au

In Person You can always visit us at any one of our eleven offices:

Darwin (Head Office) 45 Mitchell Street Darwin NT 0801

Darwin/Daly/Wagait Unit 1 17 Georgina Crescent Palmerston NT 0830

Wadeye Lot 351 Perdjert Street Wadeye NT 0822

East Arnhem Endeavour Street Nhulunbuy NT 0880

Katherine 5 Katherine Terrace Katherine NT 0850

Bulman Mimal Ranger Station Weemol NT 0822

Ngukurr Balamurra Street Ngukurr NT 0852

Borroloola / Barkly Robinson Road Mara Mara Camp Borroloola NT 0854

Tennant Creek 178 Paterson Street Tennant Creek NT 0860

Victoria River District 43 Wilson Street Timber Creek NT 0850

West Arnhem (Jabiru) 3 Government Building Flinder Street Jabiru NT 0886

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Northern Land Council Address all correspondence to: CHAIRMAN GPO Box 1222 Darwin NT 0801

45 Mitchell Street, Darwin NT 0800 Phone: (08) 8920 5100 Fax: (08) 8945 2633 Free Call: 1800 645 299

Darwin Daly Wagait Katherine Jabiru Nhulunbuy Borroloola Ngukurr Tennant Creek Timber Creek

P.O. Box 1249 Palmerston NT 0831 P.O. Box 396 Katherine NT 0851

P.O. Box 18 JABIRU NT 0886 P.O. Box 820 Nhulunbuy NT 0881

P.O. Box 453 Borroloola NT 0854 P.M.B. 85 via Katherine NT 0851

P.O. Box 55 Tennant Creek NT 0861 43 WILSON ST Timber Creek NT 0852

Ph(08) 8931 1910 Ph(08) 8972 2894 Ph(08) 8979 2410 Ph(08) 8987 2602 Ph(08) 8975 8848 Ph(08) 8975 4755 Ph(08) 8962 3729 Ph(08) 8975 0789 Fx(08) 8931 1875 Fx(08) 8972 2190 Fx(08) 8979 2650 Fx(08) 8987 1334 Fx(08) 8975 8745 Fx(08) 8975 4601 Fx(08) 8962 1636 Fx(08) 8975 0664

Northern Land Council Address all correspondence to: CHAIRMAN GPO Box 1222 Darwin NT 0801

45 Mitchell Street, Darwin NT 0800 Phone: (08) 8920 5100 Fax: (08) 8945 2633 Free Call: 1800 645 299

Darwin Daly Wagait Katherine Jabiru Nhulunbuy Borroloola Ngukurr Tennant Creek Timber Creek

P.O. Box 1249 Palmerston NT 0831 P.O. Box 396 Katherine NT 0851

P.O. Box 18 JABIRU NT 0886 P.O. Box 820 Nhulunbuy NT 0881

P.O. Box 453 Borroloola NT 0854 P.M.B. 85 via Katherine NT 0851

P.O. Box 55 Tennant Creek NT 0861 43 WILSON ST Timber Creek NT 0852

Ph(08) 8931 1910 Ph(08) 8972 2894 Ph(08) 8979 2410 Ph(08) 8987 2602 Ph(08) 8975 8848 Ph(08) 8975 4755 Ph(08) 8962 3729 Ph(08) 8975 0789 Fx(08) 8931 1875 Fx(08) 8972 2190 Fx(08) 8979 2650 Fx(08) 8987 1334 Fx(08) 8975 8745 Fx(08) 8975 4601 Fx(08) 8962 1636 Fx(08) 8975 0664

31 January 2014

Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion Minister for Indigenous Affairs PO Box 6100

Senate Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister,

In accordance with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976, the Native Title Act 1993 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, I am pleased to submit the 2012-2013 Annual Report for the Northern Land Council.

I am authorised by the Full Council of the Northern Land Council to state that the Directors are responsible under section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 for the preparation and content of the report in accordance with the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011.

This report reviews the Northern Land Councils performance and illustrates the commitment and achievement of our staff throughout the year.

I commend the report to you for presentation to the Australian Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Samuel Bush-Blanasi CHAIRMAN

Over 68,850 Indigenous people reside in the Northern Territory, representing 29.8% of the Northern Territory population.*

Almost 50% of the land mass and 80% of the coastline in the Northern Territory is Aboriginal land.

A significant portion of the generated income

$38,479,281 from projects on Aboriginal land goes back into the local economy (refer to p153).

Fast Facts

80.2% of the NT Indigenous population resides in regional and remote areas of the Territory, the highest proportion of any State or Territory.*

Native title blocks which have been “accepted for registration” within the Northern Land Council area are

184,460 km2 (refer to p99).

164 exploration licence applications over Aboriginal freehold land were being processed as at 1 July 2013 (refer to p118).

There is approximately

59,643 km2 of national parks and conservation reserves in NLC’s region of which 26,542 km2 overlaps

onto Aboriginal owned land.

Over 115 Aboriginal people employed in the Ranger programme, managing natural and cultural resources (refer to p66).

*Source:

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011 Census

Photo 5: Looking out across Anson Bay

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The Northern Land Council: Our Land, Our Sea, Our Life “There is nothing more fundamental to the Aboriginal understanding of self and society than our relationship with the land and the sea”

History In 1973 the Australian Parliament appointed Justice Woodward to conduct a Commission of Inquiry into the appropriate way to recognise Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory.

The parliament was responding to growing calls from Aboriginal people for the recognition of their land rights. In 1963, the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land presented parliament with a Bark Petition protesting about the leasing of 36,000 hectares of their land for bauxite mining.

In 1966, Gurindji stockmen and their families walked off the Wave Hill station after decades of mistreatment by the station bosses. What started as a dispute over pay and conditions quickly escalated into a demand for land rights. Thousands of Aboriginal people followed suit across Australia, walking off stations and participating in land rights marches, freedom rides and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

By 1967, the pressure led to an historic national referendum where 91 percent of Australia voted to give the Australian Parliament the power to make laws with respect to Aboriginal people.

The Northern Land Council (NLC) was established in the second half of 1973 in response to Justice Woodward’s first report. Its then role was to assist the Commission by ascertaining the views of Aboriginal people and advocating for their interests.

Following the enactment of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA), the NLC became an independent statutory authority responsible for assisting Aboriginal people in the northern region of the Territory to acquire and manage their traditional land and sea.

Photo 6: One of the 1963 Bark Petitions that were presented to the Australian Parliament.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The establishment, and ongoing support, of the Land Councils is an important manifestation of Parliament’s commitment to reconciliation with the Aboriginal peoples of the NT. Thirty-nine years on, the NLC remains an important body through which the Aboriginal people of the Top End make their voices heard on the array of issues which impact upon their land, seas and communities. The ALRA continues to be a strong foundation on which to build social, cultural and economic growth for traditional owners.

The NLC is also a representative body for the purposes of the Native Title Act 1993 (NTA), and in this capacity the NLC also represents Aboriginal people living in the Tiwi Islands and on Groote Eylandt.

This calendar year is the 50th anniversary of the signing and presentation of Bark Petition to the Australian Parliament of which the NLC Chairman was a signatory and artist.

Our Region and its constituents The NLC is an independent statutory authority of the Commonwealth, responsible for assisting Aboriginal peoples to acquire and manage their traditional lands and seas. Since the enactment of the ALRA and NTA, approximately 50% of the land in the NT has become Aboriginal land, including 85% of the NT coastline. A large proportion of the remaining landmass is subject to native title interests. Land Councils are important bodies as they give Aboriginal people a voice on the issues that affect their lands, seas and communities.

Photo 7: NLC Staff and Council Members relaxing after a Full Council Meeting.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Our key constituents are the traditional owners and residents of our region. Approximately 30,000 Aboriginal people live within the NLC region. While many live in major towns, there are almost 200 communities ranging in size from small family outstations to settlements of up to 3,000 peoples.

Most of these communities are remote locations. The majority of Aboriginal peoples living in our region speak an Aboriginal language as their first language. Traditional Aboriginal law is practised in many communities within our region.

Many major resource developments are taking place on Aboriginal Land, land subject to native title rights and interests, and/or land and waters over which Aboriginal peoples assert interests. These developments include mining and exploration projects, the constructions of railways, gas pipelines, army training areas, national parks, and pastoral activities. The challenge for the NLC is to ensure that social, economic and cultural benefits flow to Aboriginal peoples from these developments. Aboriginal peoples are increasingly looking to participate in planning and development activities while at the same time seeking to protect their culture integrity.

Enhanced social, political and economic participation

The NLC is committed to ‘enhancing Aboriginal people’s social, political and economic participation’ and this is reflected through Full Council policies and directives.

Our region is unique and we continue to focus on developing and supporting new and innovative projects and developments that underpin prosperity in remote Aboriginal communities.

To ‘enhance’ Aboriginal peoples’ ‘participation’ we must be responsive to their opinions, build capacity, encourage leadership and develop equitable and balanced outcomes. We undertake to adopt best practice and precautionary principles while considering the triple bottom line for activities which affect their land, water and livelihoods.

The mechanisms for achieving this are by promoting, protecting and advancing Aboriginal people’s rights and interest through strong Aboriginal leadership and good governance.

The NLC continues to show that it is ideally placed to manage the increasing demands of government, private enterprise and Aboriginal people themselves to set up services, businesses and industries on Aboriginal land.

In partnership with the Australian and Northern Territory Governments and others, the NLC continues to enhance Aboriginal participation and equity in major developments.

Aboriginal people are diverse and culturally rich, their lands and waters are resource rich and therefore a major contributor to the growth of the NT economy. The Northern Land Council is a relevant and essential driver in Aboriginal affairs.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

A Word From Our Chairman

I acknowledge the commitment displayed by fellow Council Members and the role the Executive Council played in guiding the staff of Northern Land Council to achieve exceptional outcomes this year.

Whilst there have been some challenges the Northern Land Council continues to develop good governance practices, show strong management and leadership qualities and advocate for economic growth and service delivery to remote regions.

The commitment from the Australian Government to fund the Stronger Futures initiative for ten years is commended. In alliance with other Aboriginal organisations we will continue to evaluate, monitor and advise on best models of service delivery and implementation of government policies and programmes affecting our Aboriginal constituents.

In particular, the Council welcomes both the Territory and Australian Government funding commitment to homeland development and service delivery.

Research shows that homeland residents live more active lifestyles, and by supplementing their diets with bush foods and the sustainable use of natural resources contribute to better health outcomes. This must have a flow on effect in terms of public spending including biodiversity of Australia’s flora and fauna and bio-security of remote Australia.

Although Land Commissioner Justice Grey recommended the Kenbi Land Claim be granted over 10 years ago, traditional owners remain optimistic that all parties will be diligent and negotiate in good faith to resolve remaining issues.

Photo 8: Wali Wunungmurra, Chairman Northern Land Council

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The Council is evaluating the Local Government Shire governance options and how changes will be implemented to give community control through local boards making decisions and better service delivery in remote communities.

During this hectic financial year, the former Chief Executive Officer, Kim Hill resigned in October 2012 and soon after two other senior managers resigned. The Executive Council provided directions to backfill the vacancies with internal staff until the recruitment process was completed.

Words of wisdom…

As one of the last remaining signatories to the 1963 Yolgnu Bark Petition, I am extremely proud to be leading the Northern Land Council through recent events and in my final year of a three year term have endeavoured to lead the organisation with confidence and energy.

As the first people of this land, I acknowledge it has taken generations of leaders (black and white) before us to fight for what we have today in terms of land and sea rights.

Following British settlement, it took 179 years before our people were given the right to vote—that is a long time to change attitudes and perceptions.

That is why I say the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 is of great significance to past and future generations and it is at the forefront of my mind that this Act must be protected and preserved.

Time for positive change…

Our culture and land underpins our existence and survival and rightfully the colonial legal theory of terra nullius was rejected.

My long term hope and vision is that the hard won recognition of Aboriginal people and their land rights is embedded in the Australian Constitution.

In November 2013 a number of new faces will make up the Full Council membership. I wish outgoing Council Members all the best and hope the good work of representing Aboriginal people, the integrity and corporate image of the Northern Land Council continues with the new membership.

Wali Wunungmurra CHAIRMAN

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

A Word From Our Chief Executive Officer This past year has been a busy and productive one for the NLC and its staff. As usual we held two very successful Full Council Meetings over one week in November and one in May-June.

At them significant land council business was attended to and numerous resolutions passed concerning the industry and development of Aboriginal land and the Territory. The highlights and ‘fast facts’ summary on pages 4 and 16 provides a brief overview—details can be found in the body of this annual report.

These are however, more than simply vehicles for all the business the Land Rights Act requires of the NLC. They are the forums for significant debate and information sharing among the members. They also provide the opportunity for members to hear from and discuss their issues and concerns with persons from outside the Land Council including the political, government, industry, research, scientific and other worlds.

Although our origin and history is largely that of a land council under the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 we are also a Native Title representative body (under the Native Title Act) tasked with furthering the interests of Aboriginal people whose country is now part of a pastoral lease, town or in the sea.

The NLC has been very successful in winning the recognition of native title rights across our region. This has resulted in a significant increase in workload as developers and other parties now seek consultation, negotiation and agreements with Aboriginal people.

It is particularly pleasing to see Aboriginal people whose land rights looked to have been left out now being involved in developments on their traditional country through recognition of native title rights. The haulage road from the Western Desert Resources mine on St Vidgeon to the port facility at Bing Bong near Borroloola is an excellent example of native title

holders’ involvement. Projects such as this one tick all the boxes—it has involved Aboriginal people from the beginning, involves long term development and brings opportunities for employment and training into a region where there are currently few. All this has occurred with a strong emphasis on sacred site protection and avoidance by all parties.

Exercising our responsibilities under both Acts will enable Aboriginal people to fully utilise the opportunities presently opening up across the Top End.

The coming year promises more. There will be a new Chief Executive Officer and new Full Council and Chairman elected to lead the organisation. It will also ‘kick off’ a series of semicentennial celebrations beginning with that for the Bark Petition to Federal Parliament in 1963.

Robert Graham ACTING CHIEF ExECuTIVE OFFICER

Photo 9: Robert Graham performed the CEO role for the past eight months.

The Year in Review

Photo 10: Tidal movements. With each new wave, new and old issues, developments, visions and experiences ebb and flow.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Significant Issues and Development Research: Indigenous Aquaculture

The aquaculture research led by the Aquaculture Branch of the NTG Fisheries Division continued to work in partnership with communities and external facilitators to develop and manage marine-based enterprises. Trials continued on Goulburn Island, Tiwi Islands and Groote Eylandt, including fishing, sandfish ( Holothuria scabra) ranching, oyster farming, oyster wild harvest and giant clam farming. (Story on p130)

Gas to Gove Pipeline— Katherine to Nhulunbuy

NLC publicly supported efforts to secure the gas supply to Gove and commenced information sessions and carried out intensive and extensive consultation and site clearances in support of Pacific Aluminium’s proposed Gas Pipeline Corridor from Katherine to Nhulunbuy. Traditional owners met by clan groups and community meetings were held at Katherine, Barunga, Bulman, Ngukurr, Gan Gan, Gapuwiyak, Doindji, Yirrkala, Nhulunbuy and with the main Aboriginal Corporations. Traditional owners and local ranger groups were also engaged during the Environmental Impact Study. Consultations continue over the route, access tracks, infrastructure and camp sites and is expected to conclude late in 2013. (Story on p92)

New Government— Bans Sea Bed Mining

The Northern Land Council and Anindilyakwa Land Council welcomed the announcement by the then NTG’s Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis in implementing a three-year moratorium on exploration and sea bed mining in the Territory’s coastal waters until 2015.

The current government listened to traditional owners and custodians’ views of the cultural and environmental significance of waters and marine habitats and for the need for them to be protected between the mainland of east Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Chief Minister Giles declared a ban on sea bed mining in the Gulf of Carpentaria but excluded the Blue Mud Bay area where some traditional owners expressed an interest in pursuing perceived economic benefits.

Blue Mud Bay Consultations Throughout 2012-2013 the Northern Land Council continued to facilitate meetings with traditional Aboriginal owners of the inter-tidal zone areas that adjoin Aboriginal Land Trusts.

Initial meetings provided background information on the Blue Mud Bay decision and an outline of the new offer proposal by NTG. After a series of consultation meetings with particular groups, two areas with high recreational and commercial fishing activity reached agreements.

The NTG entered into a section 19 land use agreement with the Malak Malak traditional Aboriginal owners for the Daly River Crossing downstream towards the mouth. (Story on p143)

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

A second agreement was reached with the traditional Aboriginal owners of the McArthur River and the Sir Edward Pellew Island group in the Borroloola area for permit free access in exchange for negotiated outcomes for a 40 year term.

The third in-principle agreement relates to the Coopers Creek to Mini Mini Creek System in West Arnhem Land, traditional owners are developing a regional fisheries management model for the NTG to consider.

Traditional owners for the upper reaches of the Finnis River rejected the Government’s offer.

As requested by the NTG, consultative meetings continued over the high recreation use areas, including Fogg Bay and around Nhulunbuy.

Working with Museums Face to face visits were undertaken in February 2013 to three museums in Melbourne and Sydney to foster working relationships and understandings about the responsibility of respective organisations and traditional owners.

The Executive Council met with Lindy Allen, Senior Curator of North Australian collections in Museum Victoria. In Sydney at the Australian Museum, the group met with Phil Gordon, Aboriginal Heritage Project Officer and at the Macleay Museum a visit with Matt Poll, Curatorial Assistant of Indigenous Museum Collections and Repatriation Program. All three museums were keen to discuss repatriation issues and opened their doors to the collections from the NLC region.

The museums are encouraged that NLC, on behalf of traditional owners, has taken the first step towards formalising a process for repatriation by developing a policy for its jurisdiction. A formal policy will administratively assist museums to repatriate objects, photographic records and human remains in line with the wishes of the rightful traditional owners and or custodians. (Story on p145)

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Summary of Financial Performance The NLC is primarily funded through the Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA), an account into which the Australian Government pays an amount of money equal to the royalties paid from mining on Aboriginal land. These payments are made on an estimates and justification basis.

The NLC is a native title representative body under the Native Title Act, which provides for further funding for native title matters. In addition to its core funding under the ABA, the NLC receives funding under a number of separate grants.

The NLC is required to prepare audited financial statements for two separate accounting entities under two Acts of Parliament -the ALRA and the Native Title Act. The NLC auditor is the Australian National Audit Office.

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Finance Minister’s Orders and Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period. The full audited statements are reproduced at the end of this report at p165.

A short summary of the NLC’s overall financial performance for 2012-2013 is shown below.

External Funding

NLC receives additional grant based funding from a number of sources, the major external funding sources include:

» Jobs and Career Services funding (i.e. mining companies)

» Working on Country funding for Ranger Groups (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities)

» Real Jobs funding for Ranger Groups (Indigenous Land Corporation)

» Territory Natural Resource Management

Challenges » Grant funding arrangements for Ranger salaries end June 2013

» Prioritise competing demands for limited financial resources

» Comply with Management Plan and Estimates 2012-2013, financial accounting and procedures manual

» Reduce the turnaround time of the cost recovery processes

» Enhance depleted and aged vehicle pool

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

THE YEAR AT A GLANCE

Operating Surplus / Deficit (before capital investment)

The NLC’s operating surplus [or deficit] is variable and dependent on external factors such as grant cycles and capital investment in infrastructure in particular financial years. “Operating surplus” is an accounting term and is not unexpended funds. In general, the NLC has reviewed financial policies and procedures throughout the 2012-2013 financial year, which has further improved fiscal management and responsibility.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OVER FIVE YEARS

08-09 $,000

09-10 $,000

10-11 $,000

11-12 $,000

12-13 $,000

Revenue 28,603 36,497 42,628 37,021 35,419

Expenses 27,478 34,598 34,719 40,904 48,780

Operating Surplus/Deficit (before capital investment) 1,125 1,899 7,909 (3,883) (13,361)

Assets 21,872, 23,210 31,116 27,955 15,629

Liabilities 6,109 5,549 5,546 6,236 7,492

Asset revaluation reserve 265 265 265 265 44

Cash held 7,264 11,599 12,965 19,427 4,577

Net increase/decrease in cash held 4,026 4,335 8,965 6,462 (14,850)

Royalty Amounts

The following Royalty Amounts were paid by the NLC during the 2012-2013 financial year:

09-10 $,000

10-11 $,000

11-12 $,000

12-13 $,000

Total Royalties paid (refer Note 17 of Annual Financial Statements 2012-2013) 22,588 31,330 35,144 33,964

Mining Royalty Equivalents Held In Trust

As of 30 June 2013 the following mining royalty equivalents have not been paid and are being held in trust:

09-10 $,000

10-11 $,000

11-12 $,000

12-13 $,000

Section 64 (3) payments (Refer Note 17 of Annual Financial Statements 2012-2013) 49 587 941 666

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act (1997) (CAC Act) Compliance

Report of Operations

As a Commonwealth Authority, NLC is subject to annual reporting orders issued by Finance Minister under s28 of the CAC Act that stipulates that the NLC recover costs regarding the provision of products or services where it is efficient to do so.

Fees

In accordance with subsection 37(2) of the ALRA, fees received for services by the NLC can be found at Note 4(a) of the Financial Statements (refer to p184).

Significant events

There were no significant events pursuant to section 16(a) of the CAC Act to report this financial year.

Key Changes

There were no key changes to the state of affairs or principal activities of the Northern Land Council pursuant to section 16(c) of the CAC Act to report this financial year.

Amendments to Enabling Legislation

There were no amendments to the enabling legislation pursuant to section 16(d) of the CAC Act to report this financial year.

External Scrutiny

There were no judicial decisions, no ministerial directions and general policies or decisions of administrative tribunals pursuant to s17(a) CAC Act this financial year.

Strategic Plan

Photo 11: Sun going down over the Barkly Highway.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Shaping the NLC Region’s Future The NLC’s strategic direction addresses the changing social, political and economic and environmental landscape of our region, and the opportunities and challenges it presents. The 2007-2011 Strategic Plan identified a number of objectives as key focus areas. The next Strategic Plan will further develop and build on those successes.

The outcomes are a measure of impacts on the community against NLC’s objectives.

Land & Sea Management and Natural Resources

Objective: Access to Aboriginal Land is managed effectively and efficiently.

Outcomes: » Permits issued are in accordance with traditional Aboriginal owner wishes. » Communities know who is entering their communities and for what purpose. » The number of permit visitors is not negatively impacting landowners and residents.

» Average number of days taken to process and issue a permit meet the target. » Areas are closed for ceremonial reasons and visitors are notified quickly. » Complaints are dealt with efficiently.

Objective: Traditional owners are assisted to manage their land, sea and natural resources in a sustainable manner.

Outcomes: » Traditional owners are consulted early with expressions of interest to carry out activities on their land or water. » Increasing the number of community driven initiatives.

» Provide support to land and sea management programmes on country. » Monitoring the compliance of land use agreement. » Ensuring the ecologically sustainable use of wildlife and resources. » Cultural assets and conserved and protected appropriately.

Land Claims and Acquisition Support Services

Objective: To assist Aboriginal people to obtain or acquire property rights over their traditional land and seas.

Outcomes: » Identify claimable land. » Engage, identify and consult with the appropriate people. » Lodge and settle land claims and native title claims.

» Finalise outstanding or long running land claims.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Economic Development and Commercial Services

Objective: To secure economic, social and cultural benefits for traditional owners from developments taking place on Aboriginal land.

Outcomes: » Negotiate strong agreements that provide benefits. » Complete consultations and execute agreements in a timely manner. » Incomes derived from agreements are distributed according to traditional Aboriginal owners’

directions. » Facilitate decision making processes that consider and integrate short and long term economic, environmental, social and equitable values (the integration principle).

Objective: Develop employment and training plans in partnership with industry and government stakeholders, and facilitate the implementation of these plans.

Outcomes: » Generate training and employment jobs through agreements or partnerships. » Increase the percentage of training opportunities into real jobs.

Objective: Efficiently process exploration and mining licence applications and provide accurate advice on potential environmental impacts and benefits.

Outcomes: » Maintain the average number of consultations regarding applications to explore and mine. » Efficiently carry out the scheduled number of consultation meetings with key stakeholders. » Provide best practice advice and use precautionary principle where science not known.

Objective: Empower Aboriginal people to carry out commercial activities and build sustainable enterprises.

Outcomes: » Actively support the establishment of Aboriginal owned businesses, commercial entities and governance structures. » Negotiate Aboriginal involvement in commercial section 19 land use agreements and maintain

current engagement and benefits from industry sectors e.g. crocodile, pastoral. » Increase the percentage of s19 land use agreements held by Aboriginal interests.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Advocacy Services

Objective: Advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people and express their views.

Outcomes: » Lobby and advocate industry, governments, business and other stakeholders. » Provide information through the Land Rights News and other publications. » Maintain readership of Land Rights News and promote web site views.

Objective: Raise public awareness of the NLC’s work and the views of Aboriginal people.

Outcomes: » Maintain profile through media releases, press conferences and building networks. » Invite visitors to attend and present at Council Meetings. » Respond to documents released by government for public comment.

» Maintain alliance with North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance. » Maintain alliance with Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT).

Objective: Supporting Aboriginal people to maintain and protect their sacred sites and cultural heritage.

Outcomes: » Assist Aboriginal people with cultural mapping, site clearances and site registrations. » Provide Land Interest References as requested by staff. » Create maps for project consultations and formal land use and mining agreements.

» Process funeral and ceremony applications in a timely manner in accordance with policy. » Liaise with Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority in relation to site protection. » Support Aboriginal people to enjoy, practise and maintain their cultural activities. » Repatriation of sacred objects and human remains.

Objective: Help Aboriginal people achieve their development potential by facilitating access to leadership and governance programmes, and resources, infrastructure and government services.

Outcomes: » Develop and promote policy to achieve skilled and gender representation on external boards, forums and committees. » Provide induction to new members, facilitate leadership and governance training (hands on

and formal) sessions. » Encourage and support Council Members to attend forums and present.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Administration and Support Services

Objective: Receive and distribute statutory and other payments for Aboriginal people.

Outcomes: » Distribute negotiated payments to the relevant traditional Aboriginal owners and or royalty receiving associations. » Strictly comply with the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 and Commonwealth Authorities

and Companies Act 1997 provisions.

Objective: Assist Land Trusts to act appropriately and in accordance with the ALRA.

Outcomes: » Assist with the administration of existing Aboriginal Land Trusts and affix the seal of the relevant Land Trust at the direction of the Full Council. » Ensure membership is up to date and in compliance with the ALRA.

» Nominate members who will carry out their role as Land Trust Member appropriately.

Objective: Support traditional Aboriginal owners to manage and resolve disputes.

Outcomes: » Ensure that Full Council resolutions directing Aboriginal Land Trusts to enter into binding land use agreements will not be subject to legal challenge. » Facilitate information and meetings where traditional Aboriginal owner decisions are made in

accordance with their traditional decision making process. » Encourage cultural integrity and mediate disputes according to traditional laws, customs and practices to avoid western adversary imposed decisions.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The Year Ahead Following many information sessions, environmental impact study trips and route clearances since December 2012 the Gas to Gove Pipeline consultations will start in earnest with the company Pacific Aluminium with a significant amount of planning between parties and commitments to a meeting schedule.

The on country agreement offer meetings commence in September 2013 and traditional owners will be provided further details, and will discuss and consider how and where Rio Tinto would like to build the pipeline and terms of the agreement.

Map 1: The proposed Pacific Aluminium gas pipeline project route required extensive consultations.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Ord River Expansion

The NLC continues to liaise with the NTG to ascertain if and when a proposal will be received around the Ord River expansion into the NT. The NT is seen by some as the “food bowl” for Asia and the government is of the view it will be an economy building project.

Relevant traditional owners, custodians and native title holders in the NT remain vehemently opposed to any destruction of their sites and dreaming tracks.

Map 2: An overview of the Ord River Project on the Western Australia side and proposed expansion into the Northern Territory.

Council Information

Photo 12: 105th Full Council Meeting—West Arnhem and Ngukurr Numbulwar Regions discussing land use agreement details with staff.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Regional Map

Map 3: Shows the seven NLC Regions including the Regional Office locations.

Darwin Palmerston

Jabiru

Wadeye

Timber Creek

Katherine

Bulman

Ngukurr

Borroloola

Tennant Creek

Aboriginal Land Trust Areas

Victoria River District

Borroloola-Barkly

Katherine

West Arnhem

Darwin Daly Wagait

East Arnhem

Anindilyakwa Land Council

Central Land Council

Tiwi Land Council

Ngukurr

Nhulunbuy

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Our Council The role of the Council The responsible Commonwealth Minister, approves the method of choice of members for the NLC including the community and or outstation area that they represent. Section 29 of the ALRA provides that any Aboriginal person that is a traditional Aboriginal owner or a resident living within the Northern Land Council region may be nominated for membership onto the Council.

The Minister has nominated the 52 community areas in the NLC region that members can be nominated to represent. Seventy eight members plus five co-opted women positions make up the NLC Full Council membership. Members are nominated for a three year term, the current Full Council’s term expires in November 2013 when a new nomination and election process will take place.

The NLC is divided into seven regions and members represent their communities on their Regional Councils and at Executive and Full Council Meetings throughout the term.

At the commencement of a new Full Council term all positions are declared vacant and a new Chair, Deputy Chair and Executive Council are nominated by the new Members. Members sitting in their region nominate an Executive Member to represent them on the Executive Council. An Executive Council of nine is made up of the seven regional Executive Members, the Chair and Deputy Chair.

The Chair is an executive director appointed to the Full Council who is an employed member of the Northern Land Council. The Deputy Chair is a non-executive director however during the Chairman’s absence the Deputy Chair becomes an executive director.

Individual members have an important role in keeping the Full Council informed of the opinions and priorities of its Aboriginal constituents. The Full Council shapes the policy and strategic direction of the NLC administration.

The Full Council has powers under the ALRA and one of its functions is the responsibility for endorsing exploration and petroleum licence applications and section 19 land use agreements tabled before them at Full Council Meetings. The Full Council has delegated some of its decision making powers to the Executive and Regional Councils, the Chairperson and the Chief Executive Officer e.g. can approve land use agreements valued up to $100,000 or for leases for two years or less and can make recommendations to the Full Council for consideration.

The Executive Council is responsible for managing Council business between Full Council meetings. Each Executive, Regional and Full Council Meeting receives operational and financial reports and provides direction to assist staff meet its performance objectives and targets.

The nomination process calling for new members was widely publicised and nominations close on 31 August 2013. The successful members will be invited to attend the next Full Council Meeting in November 2013 where they will nominate regional Executive Members, the Deputy Chair and Chairperson.

Induction and training sessions are provided to all new and returning council members as well as in their roles on boards and committees and through forum attendance and participation. Capacity building also occurs during council meetings when reports are delivered by the branch managers and when experts are invited to attend presentations.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

East Arnhem Region Wali Wunungmurra Chairperson

Wali Wulanybuma Wunungmurra is a senior elder of the Dhalwangu clan and was nominated as the sixth Chairman of NLC in November 2007.

Mr Wunungmurra lives in Yirrkala and spends time at his outstation in northeast Arnhem Land in the NT as well as in Darwin. Born and educated at Yirrkala, he went on to spend three years at bible college in Brisbane before returning home to assist the Yolngu clans as an interpreter during the historic Gove Land Rights Case in 1971.

Mr Wunungmurra has a long history in the struggle for land rights and was a signatory of the Bark Petition, which was presented to the Australian Parliament in 1963 in response to the granting of a mining lease on Yolngu clan lands at Nhulunbuy. Mr Wunungmurra has a long involvement with community affairs, sitting on several boards and committees in Yirrkala including Chairman of the Yambirrpa Schools Council and Chairman of the Miwatj Health Board. He is also a long-time teacher and advisor to the Yirrkala School. Mr Wunungmurra is a current Board Member of the Aboriginals Benefit Account, FaHCSIA. Mr Wunungmurra has a long association with the NLC having been a member of the Full Council several times over the past twenty years.

Our Executive Council Members

Katherine Region Samuel Bush-Blanasi Deputy Chairman

Samuel Bush-Blanasi is a Mayli man and resident of the Wugularr (Beswick) community in the Katherine region. He was educated in his own community before completing his studies at Kormilda College in Darwin. Mr Blanasi is a prolific artist who brings a wealth of administrative and social experiences to the NLC. He is currently employed at the Bagala Aboriginal Corporation. Mr Blanasi attributes his education to his father the late Mr David Blanasi, who he says instilled in him strong cultural and traditional values.

This is his fourth term at the NLC. He was previously an NLC member during the 1990s. Mr Blanasi also sits as a current Board Member of the Aboriginal Investment Group, and on the Imparja Board. He was also a member of the Ministerial Regional Governance Work Group which gave advice on the current Local Government Shire model.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Borroloola/Barkly Region Leonard Norman Executive Member

Leonard Norman has been a member of the Northern Land Council since the mid nineties and was recently appointed an Executive Member of the Barkly Borroloola Region. He is a Yanyula elder who lives in Borroloola and works as a Sea Ranger with the Lianthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit. He grew up in Borroloola and was educated at Borroloola and St John’s College Darwin.

Leonard is a member on the ABA. He is also Deputy Chairman of Gulf Health and member of the Mawurli and Wirriwangkuma Aboriginal Corporation.

Leonard has strong cultural views on the need to educate young people about the vision of the Northern Land Council and the work it does for traditional owners right across the NT.

Darwin/Daly/Wagait Region Bill Risk Executive Member

Bill Risk was born and educated in Darwin and is a member of the Larrakia language group.

Bill is a Director of Imparja Television, Director NAAC, and Chairman of Darran Darra Aboriginal Corporation. As an executive member Bill says he has the opportunity to primarily represent his region and to participate in a fair and equitable manner during the decision making processes that affects Aboriginal peoples’ lives, estates/ lands and sea across the NLC region.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

East Arnhem Region Dhuwarrwarr Marika Executive Member

Dhuwarrwarr Marika is an elder of the Rirratjingu clan who was born at Yirrkala in East Arnhem Land. She lives on Dhambaliya (Bremmer Island) near Nhulunbuy. Ms Marika is a professional artist whose works have been exhibited nationally and internationally. She would like “to see Yolngu peoples being included in discussions that impact on their lives.” She wants her people to have the chance to pursue economic development on their land. Ms Marika has been a member of the East Arnhem Regional Council since 1995 and has served as an Executive Member for the East Arnhem region since October 2001.

Katherine Region Helen Lee Executive Member

Helen Lee is affiliated with the Ngalkban clan and lives at Barunga, 80km south east of Katherine. She was elected to the Full Council in 2003. Helen has a strong administrative background, having worked with the Jawoyn Association, Burridj Aboriginal Group Training and the Barunga Community Government Council and is currently the electoral officer for the Member for Arnhem. She is keen to promote women’s issues and would like to assist Aboriginal people to develop economic enterprises on their homelands.

West Arnhem Region Galaminda Executive Member

Galaminda is a member of the Danek clan and lives on Warruwi (Goulburn Island). Galaminda says, “The NLC is for the people on the ground, the grass roots people”. Mr Galaminda joined the NLC as the member for Warruwi in 1999, then was re-elected in 2001 at which time he became the West Arnhem Executive Council Member.

Mr Galaminda is also a Director of the Aboriginal Investment Group (AIG).

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Ngukurr Region Peter Lansen Executive Member

Peter Lansen is the Executive Member for the Ngukurr and Numbulwar Region. Peter lives in Minyerri and is from the Alawa and Mara Tribe and is a Creole language speaker. Peter is also a current Board Member of the Aboriginals Benefit Account, FaHCSIA. Peter sees his role on the Board as a person who serves his people. He finds the role challenging but enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and exchanging knowledge.

Victoria River District George King Executive Member

George King was born Moolooloo Station near Top Springs and belongs to the Mudbarra nation. He went to Kormilda College in the early 1970s then moved to Alice Springs. He has an education background and worked in the VRD region as a stockman for ten years. As an Executive Council Member George is committed to improving education for all Aboriginal people, and importantly continue to fight for his people’s rights.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Full Council Women’s Sub-Committee This is a formal sub-committee of the Full Council who meet prior to each Full Council Meeting to discuss and to provide direction on women related issues.

Photo 13: Full Council Women’s Sub-Committee

From Left to Right: Donna Sullivan, Nellie Camfoo, Elizabeth Sullivan, Lisa Mumbin (chair), Virginia Nundirribala, Betty Daly, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Margaret Daiyi, Helen Lee and Helen Williams

(Ladies not included in this photo: Joyce Dirdi, Heather Wilson, Jessie Alderson, Jenny Inmulugulu, Daphne Daniels, Grace Daniels, Elaine Watts, Caroline Jones, Rose Gurrulpa and recently deceased Minjilang member)

Our Full Council Members

DARWIN, DALY, WAGAIT WARD (15)

Bill Risk (Executive) Darwin

Bill Danks Darwin

David Kenyon Darwin East

William Hewitt Darwin West

Edward McGregor Darwin South

Margaret Daiyi Darwin South West

Betty Daly Daly River

Matthew Shields Daly River North

Donna Sullivan Daly River South

John Sullivan Daly River West

Elizabeth Sullivan Pine Creek

John Wilson Peppimenarti

Wally Minjin Palumpa

Benedict Kelly Jinjair Port Keats

Vacant (Deceased Member) Port Keats North

BORROLOOLA/BARKLY (13) WARD

Leonard Norman (Executive) Borroloola

Joyce Dirdi Borroloola

Keith Rory Borroloola

Michael Barclay Nicholson River

John Clarke Robinson River

Vacant (Deceased Member) North Barkly

Vacant (Jeffrey Dixon Resigned) Murranji

Brian Limerick Alexandria

David Cutta Brunette Downs

Heather Wilson Elliott

Gordon Noonan Rockhampton Downs

John Finlay Wombaya

Vacant (Deceased Member) Muckaty

* Co-opted Women’s Positions

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

WEST ARNHEM (12) WARD

Galaminda (Executive) Warruwi

Jenny Inmulugulu Warruwi

Jessie Alderson Kakadu

Moses Mirrwana Gunbalanya

Andy Garnarradj Gunbalanya

Edward Dirdi Gunbalanya

Matthew Ryan Maningrida

Dene Herreen Maningrida

Helen Williams Maningrida

Shane Namanurki Maningrida

Recently Deceased Member Minjilang

Solomon Cooper Cobourg

NGUKURR (9 + 2 CO-OPTED) WARD

Peter Lansen (Executive) Nutwood/Cox River

Vincent Fulton Hodgson Downs

Daphne Daniels Urapunga

Nelson Hall Ngukurr

Davis Daniels Ngukurr

Vacant (Deceased member) Ngukurr

Timothy Wurramara Numbulwar

Paul Namamurdirdi Numbulwar

Faye Mangurra Numbulwar

Virginia Nundhirribala* Numbulwar

Grace Daniels* Ngukurr

VICTORIA RIVER DISTRICT (6 +1 CO-OPTED) WARD

George King (Executive) Yingawunarri

George Campbell Yarralin

Shadrack Retchford Bulla

Raymond Hector Pigeon Hole

Kenivan Anthony Timber Creek

Elaine Watts Timber Creek

Caroline Jones* Timber Creek

K ATHERINE (7) WARD

Samuel Bush-Blanasi (D/Chair) Beswick

Helen Lee (Executive) Barunga

Bill Harney Katherine

Lisa Mumbin Katherine

Vacant (J. Dalywater Resigned) Weemol

Vacant (L. Murray Resigned) Bulman

Recently Deceased Member Mataranka/Djimbra

EAST ARNHEM (16 +1 CO-OPTED) WARD

Wali Wunungmurra (Chairman) Yirrkala

Dhuwarrwarr Marika (Executive) Yirrkala

Vacant (D. Djerrkura Resigned) Yirrkala

Jonathon Nunggumajbarr Blue Mud Bay

Djambawa Marrawilli Blue Mud Bay

Don Wininba Galiwinku

David Djalangi Galiwinku

Jason Guyula Galiwinku

Kenny Djekurr Guyula Galiwinku

Wesley Bandi Bandi Gapuwiyak

Donald Wunungmurra Gapuwiyak

David Marpiyawuy Milingimbi

Richard Dadarr Barakal Milingimbi

Rose Gurralpa Ramingining

Vacant (Deceased Member) Ramingining

Djawa Yunupingu Ski Beach

Gaiyli Marika* Yirrkala

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Council Meetings Full Council

MEETING DATES LOCATION

105th 12 November to 16 November 2012 Crab Claw Island Resort, Dundee

106 28 May to 1 June 2013 Timber Creek, Victoria River

DARWIN, DALY, WAGAIT PROXY 105TH PROXY 106TH

Bill Risk (Executive)

Bill Danks

David Kenyon Absent

William Hewitt

Edward McGregor

Margaret Daiyi

Betty Daly Absent John Daly

Matthew Shields

Donna Sullivan

John Sullivan

Elizabeth Sullivan

John Wilson

Wally Minjin

Benedict Kelly Jinjair Don Pultchin David Kenyon

Jnr

Port Keats North (Deceased Member)

Apology

BORROLOOLA/BARKLY PROXY 105TH PROXY 106TH

Leonard Norman (Exec)

Joyce Dirdi Jacob Riley Jacob Riley

Keith Rory Archie Harvey

Michael Barclay David Harvey David Harvey

John Clarke Absent

North Barkly (Deceased Member)

Timothy Lansen

Vacant (Jeffrey Dixon Resigned) Shannon Dixon

Brian Limerick

David Cutta Shannon Dixon

Heather Wilson

Gordon Noonan Absent

John Finlay Richard Dixon

Muckaty (Deceased Member)

Jason Bill

WEST ARNHEM PROXY

105TH

PROXY 106TH

Galaminda (Executive)

Jenny Inmulugulu Absent

Jessie Alderson Absent Absent

Moses Mirrwana

Andy Garnarradj

Edward Dirdi Christopher

Galaminda

Christopher Galaminda

Matthew Ryan

Dene Herreen

Helen Williams

Shane Namanurki

Recently Deceased Member Matthew Ngarlbin Absent

Solomon Cooper Absent Absent

NGUKURR PROXY

105TH

PROXY 106TH

Peter Lansen (Exec)

Vincent Fulton Absent Bradley Farrow

Daphne Daniels Angelo

Mangurra

Lindsay Hall

Nelson Hall Absent Lindsay Hall

Davis Daniels Vacancy

Ngukurr (Deceased member)

Timothy Wurramara

Paul Namamurdirdi

Faye Mangurra Absent

Virginia Nundhirribala* Absent

Grace Daniels* Absent Absent

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

VICTORIA RIVER DISTRICT

PROXY 105TH

PROXY 106TH

George King (Executive)

George Campbell

Shadrack Retchford

Raymond Hector

Kenivan Anthony

Elaine Watts Absent Larry Johns

Caroline Jones*

K ATHERINE PROXY

105TH

PROXY 106TH

Samuel Bush-Blanasi (Deputy Chair)

Helen Lee (Exec)

Bill Harney

Lisa Mumbin

Weemol (Resigned) Vacancy Lachlan

Lawrence

Bulman (Resigned) Vacancy Desmond

Lindsay

RS (since Deceased) Clive Roberts

EAST ARNHEM PROXY

105TH

PROXY 106TH

Wali Wunungmurra (Chairman)

Dhuwarrwarr Marika (Executive)

Blue Mud Bay Vacancy Banibi

Wunungmurra

Jonathon Nunggumajbarr

Djambawa Marrawilli Absent Larry Guyula

Don Wininba Absent

David Djalangi

Jason Guyula

Kenny Djekurr Guyula

Wesley Bandi Bandi Marcus

Gaykamangu

Donald Wunungmurra Donovan

Wunungmurra

David Marpiyawuy

Richard Dadarr Barakal

Rose Gurralpa

Ramingining( Deceased Member) Luke Dhamarrandji

Billy Buyman

Djawa Yunupingu David Rumba

Rumba

Gaiyli Marika* Silvia Gukuda Absent

Table 1: Full Council Meeting dates and attendance record during 2012-13

* Co-opted Women’s Positions

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Executive Council Eleven Executive Council Meetings were held during the reporting period.

MEETING DATE LOCATION ATTENDEES APOLOGIES

147th 5th-6th September 2012 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Leonard Norman, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

Peter Lansen absent 5th

148th 14th September 2012 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Helen Lee, George King

Leonard Norman, Peter Lansen, Bill Risk

149th 19th September 2012 NLC Office

Katherine

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Leonard Norman, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

150th 8th October 2012 Quest Hotel

Palmerston

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

Leonard Norman

151st 1st-2nd November 2012 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

Leonard Norman

152nd 19th-20th November 2012 NLC Office 45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Leonard Norman, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

153rd 6th-7th December 2012 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Leonard Norman, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, George King, Bill Risk

Helen Lee, Bill Risk absent 7th

154th 3rd February 2013 Darwin Airport

Resort, Marrara Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee,

Leonard Norman, George King, Bill Risk

155th 12th-13th February 2013 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Leonard Norman, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

156th 15th April 2013 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, George King, Bill Risk

Helen Lee, Leonard Norman,

157th 22nd-23rd May 2013 NLC Office

45 Mitchell Street Darwin

Wali Wunungmurra, Samuel Bush Blanasi, Leonard Norman, Galaminda, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Peter Lansen, Helen Lee, George King, Bill Risk

Table 2: Executive Council Meeting dates and attendance record during 2012-13

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Regional Council Two Regional Council meetings are scheduled in each region during the reporting period. The details of each of these meetings are set out in the table below.

REGION DATE LOCATION

Darwin Daly Wagait 25th-26th September 2012 Quest Hotel, Palmerston

30th April-1st May 2013 Darwin Airport Resort, Marrara

East Arnhem 9th-10th August 2012 NLC Office, Nhulunbuy

8th-9th May 2013 Walkabout Hotel Gove

Katherine 20st-21st September 2012* Mataranka

2nd-3rd May 2013*** NLC Office, Katherine

Borroloola Barkly 1st-2nd August 2012 Tennant Creek

26th-27th March 2013** Territory Manor, Mataranka

West Arnhem 15th-17th August 2012 Warruwi, Goulburn Island

23rd-24th April 2013 South Alligator Resort, Via Jabiru

Ngukurr 20th-21st September 2012* Mataranka Homestead, Mataranka

26th-27th March 2013** Territory Manor, Mataranka

Victoria River District 30th October 2012 Timber Creek

2nd-3rd May 2013*** NLC Office, Katherine

Table 3: Regional Council Meeting dates and venue during 2012-13

* refers to combined Ngukurr and Katherine Regional Council Meetings ** refers to combined Ngukurr and Borroloola Barkly Regional Council Meetings *** refers to combined Katherine and Victoria River District Regional Council Meetings

Council Appointed Committee Members

Internal Governance

Audit Advisory Committee

Note: Changes to the Full Council representative structure came into effect this financial year which explains the change in membership since last year. For membership details of all committees, refer to page 163.

External Committees

» Aboriginals Benefit Account Advisory Group

» Aboriginal Investment Group

» NT Constitutional Convention Committee

» Imparja Board

» Ministerial Regional Governance Working Group

Our People

Photo 14: Robert Gordon (clapsticks) and Simeon Bigfoot and other Kenbi Dancers performed a traditional smoking ceremony at Crab Claw Island to allow the November Full Council Meeting to proceed.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Our values are informed by the values of the Aboriginal people of our region and are consistent with Commonwealth standards. We try and act in accordance with these values at all times.

With those values in mind, the diversity of skills and experience of staff helps to build strong relationships and effective partnerships and undertake to:

» Consult with and act with the informed consent of traditional owners in accordance with the ALRA;

» Communicate clearly with Aboriginal people taking into account the linguistic diversity of the region;

» Respect Aboriginal law and tradition;

» Be responsive to Aboriginal peoples’ needs and effectively advocate for their interests;

» Be accountable to the people we represent;

» Behave in a manner that is appropriate and sensitive to cultural differences;

» Act with integrity, honesty and fairness;

» Uphold the principles and values of social justice; and

» Treat our stakeholders with respect.

Organisation Administration The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the day-to-day administrative operations of the Northern Land Council, in close consultation with the Chairman and Senior Management Group. The Chief Executive Officer is also responsible for the leadership and management of the organisation, implementing the decisions of the Full Council concerning the strategic direction and priorities and driving organisational performance to achieve results. The position is accountable to the Chair, the Executive and the Full Council for the efficient management and governance of the organisation.

The Chief Executive Officer is supported by Branch Managers; these officers are referred to as the senior management group, who provide positive and visible leadership and stewardship. The group is accountable to the Chief Executive Officer for ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance for the NLC. The Chief Executive Officer has an additional responsibility for ensuring that the NLC’s structure and resources are appropriately directed toward achieving its priorities and outcomes.

The senior management group is the principal mechanism for information sharing and co-ordination between branches of the Northern Land Council. This group meets weekly or as required to address strategic, complex or urgent and significant issues.

Managers are employed by the Northern Land Council on fixed term performance based contracts and their remuneration is indexed against public and private sector surveys.

The Chief Executive Officer’s accountability is further supported through internal committees and structures which help to ensure all legislative and statutory requirements are complied with and that the NLC performance outcomes is organised and managed in an effective manner.

Full Council

Traditional Aboriginal Owners

Executive Council

Women’s Sub Committee

Regional Council

Chairperson

CEO

Legal Secretariat

Council Liaison

Media

Policy

Corporate Services

Finance

Human Resources

Information Technology

Property

Information Management

Jobs & Career Services

Anthropology

Native Title

Land Interest Reference

Regional Anthropology

Mapping

Commercial Projects & Developments

Land & Sea Management

Mining & Major Projects

Commercial & Community Projects

» Section 19 Land Use Agreements

» Regional Offices

Other Key Stakeholders » Australian Government » Northern Territory Government » Local Government Shires

» Industries—Mining, Pastoral, Tourism, Fishing » Businesses » Non Government Organisation

Organisational Structure as at 30 June 2013

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Branch Overview Anthropology Carol Christophersen Acting Manager

Carol Christophersen is the Acting Anthropology Branch Manager in the absence of Robert Graham who in October 2012 became the Acting Chief Executive Officer following the resignation of Kim Hill.

This Branch predominately employs regional anthropologists, mapping experts and administrative staff.

A key objective of NLC is to assist Aboriginal people to obtain and or acquire property rights. This Branch meets elements of those outcomes based around performing land claims, native title claims and other acquisition support.

Cultural heritage, site clearances and geographic information services and mapping tools are essential elements of holding consultations. However, it is the Land Interest Reference Register that informs staff about whom they need to consult.

The Full Council takes advice from this Branch as to whether decisions made were well informed and made in accordance with traditional decision making process.

Corporate Services Steven Lawrence Acting General Manager Corporate Compliance

Steven Lawrence began Acting General Manager Corporate Compliance from October 2012 after Steven Shepherd left.

This Branch provides the financial administration and operational funding to meet strategic plan outcomes.

This Branch includes sections known as finance, royalties, human resources, information technology, property management and information management.

This Branch oversees the corporate compliance of the organisation.

Commercial Projects & Development

This position remains vacant following the resignation of the General Manager in January 2013.

The Branch includes the following sections:

Mining Rhonda Samardin Acting Section Manager

Following the resignation of Mr Howard Smith, Rhonda Samardin was promoted to act as Manager of the Mining Section in 2013.

Land & Sea Management Justine Yanner Section Manager

Justine Yanner has been the Land & Sea Management Manager since 2006, this branch includes Parks and Caring for Country Rangers.

Commercial & Community Projects Jonathan McLeod Section Manager

Jonathan joined the NLC in September 2011 and manages the regional office network, Indigenous pastoral program and the s19 land use agreement section.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Legal Ron Levy Principal Legal Officer

The Legal Branch provides timely legal advice and representation in relation to agreements, litigation and law reform to the Northern Land Council, traditional owners and Aboriginal corporations.

Secretariat Syd Stirling Senior Policy Advisor

The Secretariat Branch works closely with the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer Branch.

The core services that lead to strategic plan outcomes is provided through advocacy services on behalf of Aboriginal people and attempts to raise the public image and awareness.

Secretariat provides administrative support and co-ordinates all council meetings, provides close council member liaisons, networks with external media and leads the organisation in research and policy development. The jobs and career services unit became part of the Secretariat Branch.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Management of Human Resources Staff Profile

BRANCH SECTION STAFF

NUMBERS

INDIGENOUS OFFICERS

SECRETARIAT 13 7

CORPORATE SERVICES 38 23

COMMERCIAL PROJECTS & DEVELOPMENT Mining and Major Projects 9 2

Commercial & Community Projects 40 23

Land & Sea Management 21 12

WOC Rangers 37 37

ILC Rangers 18 18

ANTHROPOLOGY 23 5

LEGAL 14 4

TOTALS 213 131

Table 4: Staff Profile includes ABA, native title and Grant funded positions

300

250

200

150

100

50

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

Staff Employed

Indigenous Staff

Figure 1: 5 Year Trend—Full Time Employment Statistics

Enterprise Agreement Negotiations

Good faith negotiations between NLC staff, the Community and Public Sector Union (on behalf of members) and NLC management saw the approval of the NLC Enterprise Agreement 2011 by Fair Work Australia in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009. That agreement is effective until 1 July 2013 and negotiations have commenced with an aim of completion by December 2013.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Learning and Development

The NLC spent approximately $88,000 on training and development this financial year. Training is approved for personal career development, business needs and risk basis.

Training included:

» Senior First Aid

» Occupational Health and Safety— - Work Health & Safety Act (in-house training) - Remote Workers forum - Health & Safety Representative training

» 4WD training

» Governance training

» Commercial & Community Projects (in-house staff training)

» Native Title related training

» People Management

» Ranger related training

» Industry specific training courses and conferences

Over the next 12 months NLC will review the staff training and development strategy for continuous improvement including a succession planning strategy.

School Based Trainee Program

NLC recently implemented a school based trainee program for young Indigenous youth to have an opportunity to undertake training on and off-the-job while being paid. Two school students from Palmerston High School are currently undertaking a Certificate II in Business and are located in the Information Management Section. The structured program allows them to work two days per week and attend the school for the remainder of the week. NLC aims to continue to have more school based trainees as part of workforce planning.

Workforce planning

The senior management group completes workforce planning through the management plan and estimates process at the beginning of each calendar year in preparation for estimates bid for the next financial year.

The NLC employs 213 people on a continuous or fixed term employment contracts. Casual employees are also engaged for irregular hours on an ad-hoc basis. During the dry season, April to November, remote field work increases and the workforce can increase to over 500 staff.

There have been a number of key staff leave NLC including Branch & Section Managers and the Chief Executive Officer. Senior managers have been appointed in a temporary capacity, two of whom are Aboriginal women. The NLC is in the process of recruiting for the CEO position and anticipates an appointment by the end of 2013.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Safe Work Environment The NLC is committed to the continuous improvement relating to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 through plans, policy and procedures.

The NLC continues to work with Comcare to assess risk management strategies. A number of staff attended Comcare conference forums in relation to work health and safety.

Comcare delivered a successful Work Health & Safety Act Workshop to all staff working in remote areas and senior management.

Photo 15: Ranger vehicles equipped for the NT terrain.

The Occupational Health & Safety Committee did not meet the requirements under that Act due to some key staff resigning from NLC. Key positions have recently been appointed to assist with re-establishing the committee as a high priority.

There have been four quad bike incidents reported. This prompted a visit from Comcare which provided guidance in reviewing the policy, procedures and training.

As at 30 June 2013, the NLC had four current employee Comcare claims in progress.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Work Health & Safety Initiatives

» NLC took a lead in developing return to work programmes, which provides a supportive and positive approach. Clear directions outlined in the work programmes have contributed to the success of return to work programs. Employees are provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the programme, including implementing appropriate measures for preventative actions. This has given confidence for staff to return to work knowing they will be supported throughout the programme.

» Ergonomic assessments provided employees with workstations and equipment that were more appropriate to the tasks undertaken. They were educated about the ergonomic principles and how they apply to the workstation. There have been no further injuries reported since the completion of this initiative.

» A supplementary bid for upgrade of an aged and depleted vehicle fleet was approved by the responsible Minister. During the year a vehicle data management system was implemented, which will improve the monitoring and management of the fleet in terms of scheduled servicing and registration of vehicles. The vehicle use and replacement policy will be reviewed and implemented next year.

» An external investigation was conducted relating to vehicle related incidents that had occurred over a lengthy period which resulted in the damage, alteration or destruction of vehicles allocated to a ranger group. The investigation reported a number of recommendations including specific training for staff, supervisors and managers, reviewing incident reporting procedures, fleet data management system and conducting regular inspections and audits. These recommendations are being considered as part of the continuous improvement to work health and safety for the Northern Land Council.

Performance against the Commonwealth Disability Strategy

Reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by a new National Disability Strategy which sets out a ten year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers. A high level report to track progress for people with disability at a national level is produced by the Standing Council on Community, Housing and Disability Services to the Council of Australian Governments and is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au. More detail on social inclusion matters can be found at www.socialinclusion.gov.au.

Performance

Photo 16: Successful crocodile egg hatching by Gurruwiling Rangers in the east Arnhem Land Region.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Delivering Services and Outcomes for Our Region

The 2007-2011 Strategic Plan as adopted by Full Council was up for review, a number of strategic workshops were held with Council Members throughout the 2012 calendar year and a draft report submitted for the Executive and Regional Council Meetings to comment upon and consider the recommendations.

However the plan has not been finalised and it is anticipated that once the Chief Executive Officer’s position is permanently filled, the finalisation of the Strategic Plan will be a priority.

Given the Strategic Plan’s objectives are still relevant, the outcomes to enhance social, political and economic participation and equity for Aboriginal people in the NLC’s region as a result of the promotion, protection and advancements of their land and water rights, other rights and interests remain central to our work.

The challenge is to stay focused on the core objectives to continue to address and maximise the opportunities from a changing political, economic and social landscape for the benefit of constituents in NLC’s jurisdiction. This will be partially overcome by developing and implementing policies and holding strategic planning activities to improve upon service delivery and approach development in an ecological and sustainable way.

In line with our legislative responsibility, the NLC annually reports on how objectives have been met and what were the outcomes. The organisation provides a service, therefore, the outputs are partly measured through performance outcomes of programmes, projects, actions and resource allocation.

The following section reports on our progress towards achieving our strategic objectives and outcomes.

Photo 17: Timber Creek Rangers doing restoration work on the Bullita Stockyards which were originally built in the 1930s.

Photo 18: Timber Creek Rangers doing manual restoration work on the Bullita Stockyards.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Permits Objective: Access to Aboriginal Land is managed effectively and efficiently.

The ALRA made Aboriginal land private land and regulated the entry of persons without estates or interests in the land or traditional rights in the land from entering or remaining on the land. Amendments to the ALRA that took effect in 2008 removing the need for certain people in certain circumstances to obtain permits.

Permits are no longer required for anyone in “common areas” within “community land”. Common areas are those areas generally used by members of the community but do not include living areas, other buildings, sacred sites, and areas prescribed by the government. “Community land” refers to the 5 year lease boundaries drawn around each of the communities involved with the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

Permits are no longer required for anyone entering these communities by aircraft or boat so long as the landing place (i.e. airstrip or boat ramp) is not part of a private lease and so long as there are roads that provide access from the landing place to the community common areas.

The NT Police have the power to fine and remove people in violation of permit requirements. No prosecutions may take place without the authorisation of the Northern Land Council.

In addition to opening specified areas to the public at large, the new legislation also provides certain government workers a defence if prosecuted for entering and remaining on Aboriginal land. Since 18 August 2007, various government employees and contractors performing government work are protected from being prosecuted for lacking permits on Aboriginal land. These changes did not lapse at the conclusion of the five year NTER period.

This statutory protection from prosecution should not be confused with a right to enter and remain on Aboriginal land without a permit—work permits should still be sought in all circumstances. It remains the NLC policy to reinstate the permit system while ensuring that people engaged as agents of the Australian and NTGs and journalists working in their professional capacity—for example, attending court sessions—can enter Aboriginal land without a permit.

However, government employees and contractors who are on Aboriginal land engaged in extracurricular activities e.g. hunting, shooting, or motor biking without a permit may still be prosecuted.

The NLC encourages all members of the public to obtain permits, as details on a permit record of permit holders’ movements are extremely useful in the event of an emergency, enquiry and to notify of road closures.

Achievements

The NLC is increasingly providing education and awareness around permit requirements and in terms of service delivery is more efficient in processing permit applications through to getting approvals and ensuring permits are available for collection when due from any of its regional offices. Special arrangements have been made when it is impossible to collect permits in person.

In terms of the Blue Mud Bay decision, it is encouraging that individuals continue to apply on-line for permits which are issued automatically. Separate access consultations continue to be focussed on the high recreation and commercial fishing areas of intertidal zone adjoining Aboriginal Land Trusts.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Challenges

Permits are generated both manually and electronically depending on the type of activity. This bring challenges when calculating permit statistics and reconciling access relating to land use agreement payment arrangements. Liaison is required with a number of different branches in the organisation when processing permits for example research permits may require anthropological, legal and ethical clearances.

Permits relating to s19 land use agreements and Part IV mining agreement, although approved automatically because of the contractual arrangement still require liaison with the appropriate staff whose core function is to negotiate those agreements. A number of computer inefficiencies have been identified and throughout the latter half of 2013 a new permit data base will be developed and trialled with an aim of implementing early in 2014. However, it is acknowledged that permit processing and approval process will continue to be influenced by external factors.

Outcome

A significant amount of work has been achieved in gaining approvals from the relevant traditional owner(s) or permit delegate under the permit system across all regions. Work related permits are dealt with as a priority and it is pleasing that an increased number of government, contractors and other agencies wishing to access Aboriginal land and or carry out activities on Aboriginal land are applying for permit in advance.

Further efficiencies will be achieved following the scoping and implementation of a new and improved permit information management system which is due to be completed in early 2014.

Complex research and media permits may require longer processing time, however, 69% of permits were finalised within the 10 day target processing timeframe.

Photo 19: Wild horses on Peppimenarti wetlands.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Indigenous Pastoral Program

The Indigenous Pastoral Program (IPP) is a multi-agency partnership that includes the Northern Land Council, Central Land Council (CLC), Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, Department of Resources, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).

NLC worked collaboratively with partner agencies on the third round of the IPP and developed a Strategic Plan to guide IPP up to June 2015. IPP3 funding arrangement ceased on 30 June 2013. However, the negotiations with ILC are underway and the programme is likely to continue albeit in a reduced capacity.

Under the IPP3 Operational Plan twelve properties were prioritised for support, this included the development of four business plans, infrastructure upgrades, natural resource management assistance and compiling thorough property profiles for thirty properties. Pastoral activity on Aboriginal Land Trusts cover an extensive area with approximately 55,000 square kilometres of land currently in production within the NLC region. The development of the property profiles will assist NLC and program partners to target future support effectively.

IPP continues to support the development of pastoral aspirations on behalf of traditional Aboriginal owners and delivers a range of support mechanisms to establish land use agreements on Aboriginal Land Trust areas.

Indigenous pastoralists were supported with training opportunities via two Indigenous Cattlemen’s Workshops. The first was held at Charles Darwin University, Katherine Campus and the second in Alice Springs at the Arid Zone Research Institute. Indigenous

Cattlemen’s Workshops deliver content in a range of formal settings and practical demonstrations and participants enjoyed training activities covering issues such as best practice herd management, business management, governance responsibilities, marketing and animal welfare.

NLC’s Pastoral Unit worked collaboratively with colleagues from the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Pastoral Production Group in facilitating the delivery of extension services. Extension Service staff provide assistance with the provision of specialist information during the development of business plans, a minimum infrastructure standards hand book for Indigenous pastoral properties, pastures and land systems information, assisting community groups with funding applications as well as program logistics and general operational support.

NLC facilitated and negotiated several new land use agreements over Warrumungu, Murranji (western side) and Dillinya Aboriginal Land Trusts. Land use agreements over Robinson River and Bishops Bore were negotiated in the previous reporting period and executed in this reporting period.

NLC is committed to work with traditional owners on pastoral development on Aboriginal Land Trust areas. Benefits flowing from this work incorporate sustainable pastoral activities, improved land and environmental management and economic benefits from enhanced infrastructure, revenue as well as improving employment and social outcomes for local people on country. In conjunction with traditional Aboriginal owners and has commenced carrying out a compliance monitoring schedule on pastoral land use agreements.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Challenges

Issues going forward rely heavily on the viability of the pastoral industry and live export trade. So far the staff has managed to negotiate new agreements at a reasonable level of return, the continued down turn in the industry will have an impact on long term viability and potentially have an impact on returns to traditional owners stake holders.

Outcomes

Pastoral business plans were developed for Robinson River, Beswick and Murranji properties and will assist with the future infrastructure, stock and leasing opportunities.

Project reporting and Indigenous Pastoral Programme proposals were submitted to Indigenous Land Corporation for funding consideration beyond 30 June 2013.

Land & Sea Management & Natural Resources

Photo 21: Supervised aerial sprays of severe Mimosa pigra wetland invasion.

Photo 20: Aerial spraying of mimosa pigra.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Land and Sea Management Objective: Traditional owners are assisted to manage their land, sea and natural resources in a sustainable manner. Building the capacity of ranger groups to facilitate long term viability.

The NLC actively supports and facilitates the work of Aboriginal people in the maintenance of cultural responsibilities and obligations to care for each other, their land, waters and seas within Indigenous estates.

The work of the Northern Land Council ranger teams is guided by the values and aspirations of the traditional Aboriginal owners and custodians of Aboriginal law and culture.

Providing environmental and support services across 210,000 kilometres of NT land and 2,702 kilometres of water, the land and sea management team is engaged in an extensive regime of planning, implementation and reporting.

The lands and waters of the NT remain some of the most intact and biologically diverse land and seascapes in Australia. The values which the rangers work to protect and enhance are described by the traditional owners in the planning sessions. Cultural, historic and environmental values demand a range of protective and pro-active measures as mitigation against the threats posed by invasive plant and animal species and by a range of land use activities and pressures. NLC rangers utilise traditional and modern management practices to assist traditional owners in their ongoing struggle to protect biodiversity and conserve cultural heritage.

Photo 22: Rangers receiving firearms training.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognise that Indigenous people are intrinsically entwined with their water and land estates. This principle underpins the NLC Land and Sea Management program, which actively supports traditional owners in establishing grass-roots land and sea management initiatives across the network of remote homelands and in community centres.

The NLC Land and Sea Management program prioritises cultural law, traditional knowledge, skills and practices and encourages interaction with western science research, theory, and practices in an effort to maintain NT biodiversity and the sustainable use of wildlife. The land and sea managers also provide important environmental services for partner organisations where appropriate, and the NLC has actively built bridging relationships in order that traditional owners can engage in cost recovery contracts as a step along the path to economic wellbeing.

The NLC has also provided leadership and support in the area of fire management for remote communities. In partnership with other ranger groups along with the Central Land Council, the Carpentaria Land Council, and non-government and government agencies, the NLC has engaged in extensive carbon abatement and carbon sequestration studies and projects in Central Arnhem Land and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Through the collective efforts of the rangers and partner agencies, and with the growing support of NT pastoralists, a significant reduction in wildfire activity has been achieved in comparison to past years. Additionally the establishment of a diversity of plant community age ranges, achieved through planned early burning regimes, has created optimal conditions for species biodiversity. The development of early burning continues with a growing number of community-led traditional burning patrols along ancient trails, which provide an exciting opportunity for community members of all ages to spend valuable time on country with rangers.

The NLC also provides leadership in and facilitation of the humane management of invasive vertebrates such as the phase 2 buffalo management project in Arafura Swamp (see page 79).

The NLC assisted in facilitating, researching and progression toward declaration of three Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) in the past twelve months. The IPA work requires extensive consultation and research work in collaboration with consultants, scientists, government agencies, neighbouring landowners, Aboriginal corporations and traditional owners.

Community land and sea managers have continued their valued reciprocal working relationships with agencies such as the NTG agencies of Fisheries, Bushfires, Weeds, Police and Marine Services. Additionally working partnerships with Australian Government agencies such as Customs, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS), and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), are important components in the field. Strong financial support is provided through the Aboriginal Benefits Account (ABA), the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC), Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Affairs (DEEWA), the Natural Resource Management Board (Territory NRM) and the Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts (NRETAS).

A major component of the NLC strategic directions is to empower traditional owners in leadership and decision making, and actively supports the emergence of good governance structures through training and mentoring.

The Land and Sea Management program network reaches locally and across State and Territory boundaries. Twenty community land and sea ranger groups were directly supported by the NLC during the past twelve months, through negotiating funding

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agreements, planning and implementing management activities, developing regional partnerships, coordination of training and career development and provision of human, financial and technological resources.

The NLC has progressively lobbied for positive policy change including the co-ordination and consolidation of funds, the securing of long-term funding arrangements and the streamlining of reporting requirements. This has been achieved in part through strong partnerships, monitoring, evaluating and reporting outcomes, and raising the profile of community land and sea managers.

Garawa

Waanyi / Garawa

Lianthawirriyara

Numbulwar Numburindi Amalahgayag Inyung

Anindilyakwa

Yirralka

SE Arafura

Wanga Djakamirr Dhimurru

Gumurr Marthakal

Crocodile Island

Mardbalk

Garngi

Warddeken

Gurruwiling

Djelk

Adjumarllarl

Tiwi

Kenbi Larrakia

Bulgul

Wodikapildiyerr

Thamarrurr

Asyrikarrak Kirim

Victoria River

Yugal Mangi

Mimal

Jawoyn

Wagiman

Malak Malak

Acacia Larrakia

Independent

Northern Land Council

Aboriginal Land Trust Areas

Aboriginal Land & Sea Management Groups

Map 4: Distribution and operational area of Aboriginal Land & Sea Management Groups.

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Achievements

The NLC administered 21 land and sea ranger groups employing 86 full-time equivalent rangers during 2012-2013, with 16 ranger group coordinators, and a head office support team of coordinators and facilitators with wages and operational funding provided through the Working on Country (WoC) program and the ILC program. Additionally DEEWA provided funding for training delivery.

Casual rangers are an important part of field work, especially in burning and weed work, and the casual work provides supplementary income and training for local communities. The NLC has built a vast network of more than a hundred casually contracted Aboriginal workers throughout the NT, and all ranger teams have found that the additional casual workers have had a significant productivity increase during peak work times.

Cultural and Natural Resource Management

Facilitation of traditional cultural pursuits is an important component of the Northern Land Council Strategic Plan. People on country are the eyes and ears in our endeavours to protect environmental values and conserve biodiversity. All planning and work is led by traditional owners who authorise work in accordance with agreed work plans, and whose aspirations are the core focus of planning and implementation. As such the cultural imperatives of traditional owners are at the centre of the values we protect.

The cultural imperatives of traditional owners guide the remote Aboriginal ranger groups, and our detailed activity planning targets the most cost effective way of managing the threatening processes. Significant weed and animal invasions, and human activities such as mining, infrastructure building, and recreational activities, can cause great damage to significant ceremonial and custodial sites if not monitored and managed. Billabongs, rivers, riparian and swamp lands, coasts, grasslands, remnant rainforest pockets, and fragile stone country are typical areas where delicate environmental balances have been established over millennia and where landscape scale planning and management is necessary to conserve values.

Key ranger activities within a cultural perspective include invasive species management (plant and animal), fire management, sacred site protection, coastal zone surveillance, bio-security, marine species monitoring, marine debris management, fauna relocations, research, visitor and commercial activity patrolling, and resource-based enterprise development.

Research and planning organisations such as the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), the CSIRO, the Nature Conservancy, Bush Heritage, and the CDU, actively engage with ranger groups in the field to broaden the data base in order that the NLC can make informed management recommendations to traditional owners.

Outcome

The 21 land and sea management ranger groups supported by the NLC provide valuable environmental services by reducing impacts from introduced species to protect the ecological and cultural values and sustainable use of natural resources.

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Photo 23: Rangers erecting Entering Aboriginal Land Trust information sign.

Women Rangers Women Rangers employed by NLC participate in all aspects of the land and sea management including:

» soil and vegetation management, site protection and cultural walks

» monitoring and removal of feral animals

» billy goat plum harvesting

» sugarbag small enterprise project

» community engagement and cultural observance e.g. NAIDOC, Walking with Spirits Festival, Barunga Festival, cultural walks and excursions

» training and planning sessions

» community consultation meetings

» stakeholder meetings

» monitoring and compliance for reporting purposes

» fire management work program

» weed management work program

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Photo 24: Women Ranger undertaking a weed management survey.

Allocating time and resources to encourage women and youth projects to actively participate in culture camps, site visits and out on-country trips can be difficult for some groups. However they enthusiastically work towards meeting goals and engaging with the wider community.

Although employment numbers are down, with only 12 permanent women ranger employees, it is positive that casual and flexible employment packages funded through SEWPaC and ILC have seen an extra 16 casual employees working across eight ranger groups in the Top End.

Women Rangers’ priorities focus on achieving outcomes of the ranger program but also focus on community land management awareness and education. Having the necessary support and co-ordination and project management skills to develop and manage community driven projects will help maintain the level of engagement to achieve outcomes.

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Capacity Building

A number of women rangers attended the World Indigenous Network of Land Management Conference held in Darwin and the annual senior ranger and coordinator workshop convened by NLC. Apart from the mandatory work health and safety training, specialist training and certificate level training have been achieved including:

» Coxswains Course—Kenbi (15 days)

» Fire fighting course, Bushfires NT (3 days)

» Certificate I in Fire Fighting, Bushfires NT

» Certificate II in Transport Distribution, Coastal Maritime Operations—Coxswains (15 days)

» Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management

Outcome

A core number of women have been drivers behind maintaining women participation in the ranger programme since the NLC’s Caring for Country programme started over 12 years ago.

“We started off with women rangers in 2001 and I am still standing here.” —Cherry Daniels

Women have been instrumental guiding and undertaking in research activities with AQIS and CSIRO to monitor and record threatened species, in particular the black tip shark around the coastal reaches of the Roper River Catchment and sawfish in the Daly River Catchment.

Fundamental research work continues on Goulburn Island with the trepang trial, and the mimosa pigra biological breeding programme in the Daly River is done by women.

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Fire Management and Carbon Farming Initiative

In May 2012, the Australian government agreed to fund the three regional fire management projects—Central Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (CALFA), the NT Gulf and Western Top End under the Caring for our Country program. This funding provided operational funds for strategic early dry season burning and other project activities which are due to finish on July 30th 2013.

The aim of these NLC fire projects is to prevent large late dry season wildfires from damaging country through creating a network of early dry season firebreaks and mosaic burning lit by Aboriginal ranger groups and traditional owners employed under the project. There are now over 122 Aboriginal people directly employed in this project as well as 15 Aboriginal ranger groups involved across the three regions. NLC ranger groups have been involved in Fire Fighting 1 training this year with 72 rangers completing this course with Bushfires NT.

The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) officially commenced on 1st July 2012. The CFI recognises early dry season burning activities as an effective way of reducing the large amount of smoke and carbon pollution created by late dry season wildfires. Under this scheme Aboriginal ranger groups will be able to create carbon credits and generate funds to support land management activities on Aboriginal land through a section 19 land use agreement with traditional owners.

In 2012, Fish River Station managed by the Indigenous Land Corporation generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from carbon credits from fire abatement and strategic early dry season burning by their Aboriginal rangers and traditional owners.

Funding has also been secured for the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (WALFA) and Western Top End regional fire management

projects under the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund. This funding aims to develop the capacity of ranger groups and Aboriginal organisations to develop governance structures and commercial agreements to earn income from fire management through reducing the amount of country that gets burnt each year through strategic early dry season burning.

Fire abatement agreements under the CFI have the potential to fund ongoing employment for Aboriginal people (including senior traditional owners) in fire management and other land management activities, as well as improving access to outstations (grading roads) and remote country for Aboriginal communities.

Large late dry season wildfires, lit by lightning or people have burnt large areas of the Gulf, Arnhem Land and the western Top End every year until recent times. This has caused a lot of damage to cultural sites, bush tucker, plants and animals, cattle stations and community infrastructure. Recent efforts by Aboriginal ranger groups in Arnhem Land and the Gulf have managed to significantly reduce the incidence of wildfires late in the year by creating early dry season fire breaks.

Fire management is part of how Aboriginal people have looked after country for thousands of years in the Top End. Early dry season burning has protected a variety of habitats including places that are very sensitive to fire like rainforest (jungle), cypress pine forest, sandstone heath and riparian areas along river and springs.

Fire Season 2013

The 2013 fire management season began early this year as large areas of grass cured throughout the Top End in April-May after a below average wet season in many areas.

Fire management is now done with a combination of aerial burning from helicopters in areas not accessible by vehicle, on ground burning from vehicles and quad bikes as well

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as on foot. Aerial burning is planned through meetings and consultation with traditional land owners, junggay and community leaders and stakeholders at the start of the season. State of the art computer software and GPS technology are used to determine levels of grass fuel, fire scars, recent fires and plot GPS

tracks for aerial burning. Senior traditional owners, junggay (cultural land managers) and Aboriginal rangers are employed and trained as navigators and bombardiers using the Raindance machine (which drops incendiaries from the helicopter) to manage fire in areas not accessible by vehicle.

NT Gulf Region

In late March, regional fire planning meetings with over 50 attendees—including traditional owners and junggay for the Garawa and Waanyi Garawa Aboriginal Land Trusts as well as staff from Bushfires NT, Australian Agricultural Company (Brunette and Benmara Stations) and surrounding cattle stations were held in Borroloola to plan out fire management for the 2013 season. This fire management project expanded in 2013 to include Calvert Hills and

Pungalina cattle stations where traditional owners and junggay have been working in helicopters using Raindance machines to aerial burn over these remote areas.

Over 20 traditional owners and junggay have been employed as casual staff in this project. Garawa and Waanyi Garawa Rangers were also trained in Fire Fighting 1 training held in Katherine in April by Bushfires NT.

Photo 25: Garawa Rangers planning aerial burning with traditional owners and junggay at Robinson River.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The Waanyi Garawa Rangers began on ground burning through early April near Wangalinji and protected seven outstations with firebreaks. Most aerial burning was completed by late April. The Waanyi Garawa rangers worked closely with Mittiebah Station staff and

Bushfires NT staff to complete firebreaks along the boundary area with Mittiebah Mt. Drummond Station. Early burning by rangers and traditional owners continued into early June in these areas to complete strategic fire breaks to stop late dry season wildfires.

Map 5: Map showing fire scars and aerial burning done by Waanyi Garawa Rangers in 2013.

Many of the traditional owners for the Waanyi Garawa Aboriginal Land Trust live in Doomadgee in Queensland and met the Waanyi Garawa Rangers at Wallace Creek and Dry River to conduct aerial and on ground burning. As seen on Map 5 the Waanyi Garawa Rangers in conjunction with Bushfires NT established firebreaks along the south west corner boundary area with Mittiebah Station staff after the NLC graded the boundary.

The Garawa Rangers began burning on the Garawa Aboriginal Land Trust in late April and finished most aerial burning in mid May. All aerial burning was done by traditional owners and junggay on their country, and pastoral areas were protected with firebreaks. The Garawa Rangers also conducted aerial burning on Calvert Hills and Pungalina stations with

Photo 26: Waanyi Garawa Rangers putting a firebreak around Wangalinji.

station staff. There was over 50 hours aerial burning completed by Garawa Rangers and traditional owners and junggay.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Map 6: Fire scar map showing aerial burning routes completed by Garawa Rangers.

Photo 27: Mr Bill Harney protecting art sites with early dry season firebreaks on Menngen Aboriginal Land Trust.

Western Top End

The NLC hosted a regional fire project planning meeting at Daly River on the 23rd April with over 30 people in attendance including Aboriginal rangers and traditional owners from Peppimenarti, Wudicapuldiyer, Pine Creek, Wadeye and Fish River stations as well as neighbouring cattle stations (Litchfield, Welltree,

Tipperary and Elizabeth Downs) and other stakeholders including Bushfires NT, Territory NRM and Australian Government staff.

After consultations and planning with traditional land owners and senior Aboriginal people aerial burning began in late April on the Port Keats Daly River Aboriginal Land Trust. Most of the aerial burning was completed in May with some areas that burnt late in 2012 not being cured until July when aerial burning was completed. A large network of early dry season fire breaks was created with senior traditional owners approving planned burning routes and often navigating in the helicopter. Burning from vehicles and quads started in May and finished in July.

Twenty NLC rangers from the western Top End region completed Fire Fighting 1 training with Bushfires NT.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Photo 28: NLC rangers completing Fire Fighting 1 training with Bushfires NT.

Central Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (CALFA) project

A regional fire planning meeting was held at Murganella on June 13th with over 55 people in attendance including Aboriginal rangers and traditional owners from Maningrida, Gunbalanya, Warruwi, Ramingining, Bulman and Ngukurr. Strategic early burning was planned with neighbours and information was presented on the CFI and the potential of earning income from fire abatement and carbon credits.

The CALFA project is a partnership between Adjumarrlarl, Djelk, Mardbalk, Garngi, Gurriwiling, South East Arafura, Yugul Mangi, Numbulwar and Mimal ranger groups. There was over 120 hours of aerial burning which began early in May 2013 with Bulman and Urapunga and continued until late July in the Arafura swamp and Numbulwar area (Map 7).

Photo 29: CALFA regional planning meeting at Murganella in June 2013.

Map 7: Map showing aerial burning routes completed by NLC Rangers in CALFA.

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West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement project

The West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (WALFA) project is an agreement between the Northern Territory Government and Conoco Phillips which operates the Darwin Liquid Natural Gas Plant (LNG). Under that agreement, Conoco Phillips contributes fire management funds to a partnership of five ranger groups in Arnhem Land as part of the conditions of their licence to operate the LNG plant in Darwin Harbour.

This partnership includes:

» Mimal Rangers, Weemol Bulman

» Adjumarllarl Rangers, Gunbalanya

» Djelk Rangers managed by Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida

» Manwurrk rangers managed by Warddeken Land Management in Kabulwarnamyo

» Jawoyn Rangers managed by Jawoyn Association in Katherine

For carbon accounting purposes, fire abatement is measured in the reductions of the two greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (NO2). These are potent greenhouse gases which are measured in the equivalent amount (equivalent effect on atmosphere) of carbon dioxide (CO2). Under the WALFA agreement these ranger groups have collectively reduced the extent of wildfires and carbon pollution from smoke by an average of 140,000 tonnes CO2e- per year since 2006. The WALFA project will now focus on establishing a s19 land use agreement with traditional owners to generate carbon credits under the CFI. Under the Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund information sessions are currently being conducted throughout communities in Arnhem Land to develop a governance structure and proposal for a land use agreement for fire abatement in the WALFA project area.

Outcome

Each year the fire management regions hold at least two regional meetings—a pre fire season and post fire season meeting. Attendance at these meeting can range from 20 to 110 people.

During the aerial operations, Aboriginal people provide leadership and are active as navigators and / or bombardiers. The success of these operations is three fold in terms of fire protection of infrastructure and assets, biodiversity outcomes and fulfilling cultural responsibilities and site protections.

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Managing Invasive Vertebrates— Arafura Swamp Case Study—Phase 2

Photo 30: The Goyder River catchment provides ideal breeding habitat for the invasive buffalo.

The Problem:

Before the 1980 Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Eradication Campaign (BTEC) the estimated numbers of introduced Bubalus bubalis, the large Asian water buffalo numbers in the NT were estimated around 350,000. During the 1980s and 1990s, the Australian Government provided funding to reduce buffalo numbers in many areas, including the Arafura Swamp region under the BTEC programme.

After the 2005 aerial survey of the Arafura Swamp, the Blyth, Goyder and Glyde Rivers and the Gulbuwangay floodplains the estimated population of feral buffalo was around 5,187. Current numbers are estimated to be approximately 10,000 and rapidly expanding.

The fifteen clans who manage and care for the vast Arafura Swamp and surrounding catchments are faced with a series of major inter-linked challenges in their quest to sustain the natural and cultural values of the extensive ecosystem.

The introduction of invasive plant and animal species and the threat of rising sea levels causing salt water intrusion are major issues being tackled by traditional owners and NLC rangers. The successes reported so far would not have been possible without the partnerships developed with a number of organisations including the NT and Australian Government agencies.

Large numbers of invasive hard hoofed species and weeds introduced by others have, according to government policy, become the landowner’s responsibility.

Serious environmental damage has occurred through the arrival and intrusion of the water buffalo into the Arafura Swamp. They have provided a valued food source for Aboriginal people and more recently an economic benefit has flowed from negotiated land use agreements for mustering, safari or pet meat enterprises.

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Buffalo track on December 2009

Buffalo tracks create erosion in the slopes of the escarpment, degrading soil and plant structure and resulting in soil slippage, mud slides, siltation, salt invasion and habitat degradation.

Buffalo trampling, grazing, and wallowing cause significant damage to colonies of native flora in the wetland, destroying large areas of wild rice and other native wetland plants and habitat such as the extensive and complex Melaleuca stands.

Photo 31: An example of channelling and significant soil disturbance caused by buffalo. This track site was documented in December 2009.

Buffalo activity also spreads seed and plant matter allowing incursion by destructive invasive plants such as Mimosa pigra and Olive hymenachne.

Concerned about the environmental damage, the cutting through of stable soil areas and loss of habitats, Rangers carried out extensive consultation with the relevant traditional owners who decided that a controlled and selective cull of buffalo should take place to reduce the pressure on sensitive flood plain and swamp areas.

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Same buffalo track two years later—December 2011

Photo 32: Taken in 2011, shows the same track as documented in 2009, the track has since eroded into a 450mm deep channel in less than two years.

Photo 33: The buffalo channel, now known locally as Saltwater Intrusion Creek, has become approximately 4 metres wide in parts and more than 1 metre deep and has extensive weed invasion.

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LOCALISED CULLING: A partial and temporary solution

Before any action could take place, the NLC facilitated extensive consultations to ensure that each of the clans engaged in land and sea management of the Arafura Swamp and surrounds considered buffalo cull proposal as an urgent management action.

During consultations, consideration was given to the benefits traditional owners derived from the buffalo and the cull proposal was refined to target buffalo invasions where impacts were significant and where there was documented and visual evidence that buffalo are clearly damaging soil and plants, and threatening the sustainability of the swamp ecosystem. This was a good process for all, a consensus was reached and contractors engaged.

In partnership with Territory Natural Resource Management, the ranger team facilitated a buffalo cull around the Arafura Swamp over four days, from the 5th to 8th November 2012. The operation was based out of Murwangi Homestead and aerial shooting was considered the most humane and effective method of control. Two R44 helicopters were used for the shooting platforms.

Photo 34: Large herds of buffalo degrade significant areas of wetlands over a short space of time. Photo 35: Buffalo channelling also creates access ways for salt water intrusion. Substantial salt water intrusion

would permanently destroy the Arafura catchment.

Flying hours:

Date Daily Operati On Flying HO urs

5-8 Nov 2012 Ferry to & from Murwangi 5.5 hours

Search & shoot 57.55 hours

Daily ferry to refuel 6.9 hours

Survey flight 2.16 hours

t otal Flying Hours 72.11 hours

Number of animals seen and culled:

s pecies nO . s een nO . culle D

Buffalo 3788 3685

Pigs 18 2

Cattle 353 4

total 4159 3691

Buffalo cull rate (animals culled per hour of flying time):

Day Flying

HOurs

Bu FFal O

culle D

cull

r ate %

1 15.90 1032 64.91

2 15.92 1270 79.77

3 16.18 976 60.32

4 9.55 407 42.72

total 57.55 3685 64.05%

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Photo 36: Animals were shot from mobile helicopter platforms by professional contractors.

Photo 37: If disease-clean, provides food sustenance for remote outstation or community residents.

Outcome

Research and monitoring provided evidence to traditional owners that a cull was necessary because of environmental damage and loss of habitat. Whilst representing an invasive and destructive environmental problem, the water buffaloes are also a significant high quality food resource for people on country.

As trained by AQIS, rangers routinely check for diseases in animals. Following traditional owner requests, and where possible, Rangers and community members butchered disease-clean animals after the cull.

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Parks and Reserves

National Parks

Reserves and other Conservation Areas

Aboriginal Land

Map 8: National Parks & Conservation Reserves overlaid on Aboriginal owned land.

The Northern Land Council has statutory responsibilities to protect the interests of traditional owners of land and seas within its jurisdiction, which also includes estates leased for conservation and tourism purposes. Approximately 44.6% of the NT’s national parks and conservation reserves in the NLC region are on Aboriginal owned land.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

The NLC works closely with traditional owners and the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory to support and develop joint management arrangements and plans of management. Collectively jointly managed parks represent a very large area and the resources committed and potential opportunities are great and significant achievements have been made through joint management.

Traditional owners continue to build relationships and partnerships with governments through jointly managed parks and conservation reserves. Agreements are made under either NT or Commonwealth legislation and include Kakadu National Park (Commonwealth), Nitmiluk National Park, Garig Gunak Barlu Land and Marine Sanctuary, Judbarra National Park (Gregory), Mary River Park, Adelaide River Conservation Reserve, Giwining (Flora River) and Barranyi. NLC parks officers are also involved with informal joint management arrangements for Djukbinj, Umbrawarra, Tjuwaliyn and Litchfield including Indigenous Protected Areas proposals. It is expected that arrangements for Umbrawarra, Tjuwaliyn will become formal over the next twelve months.

The NLC provides support and assistance to traditional owners building on their traditional ecological knowledge, developing new capacities to effectively participate in the joint management of parks and reserves. NLC is instrumental in assisting traditional owners to:

» engage in an equitable manner with the Parks and Wildlife Commission by providing third party technical advice, support and advocacy.

» make informed decisions related to natural and cultural resource use and management proposals;

» understand the social, economic and cultural implications of laws or proposals affecting parks and reserves;

» protect and enhance traditional law and cultural practices;

» pursue employment and business development opportunities; and

» manage and resolve disputes.

Judbarra National Park (Gregory)

The Judbarra joint management partners continue to work well together and have developed several strategies and policies including five-year fire, weeds and feral animal management strategies and permit guidelines. Employment opportunities have increased with significant contracting work undertaken by Timber Creek Rangers, Galadji Corporation and the Dargaragu rangers.

Photo 38: Traditional Owner Members of the Judbarra Joint Committee Meeting

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Giwining—Flora River Nature Park— Wardaman Indigenous Protected Area

Traditional owners, Parks and Wildlife and NLC staff ensured that a good level of employment was maintained and that everyone was satisfied with the work outcomes. Giwining traditional owners focused on completing the Wardaman IPA plan of management as this includes this park and provides a larger platform from which to pursue their aspirations.

After three years of discussions and planning meetings, the Wardaman traditional owners endorsed their Indigenous Protected Area plan of management and nominated interim board members for the proposed Wardman IPA Corporation. On behalf of Wardaman traditional owners a funding application was submitted to SEWPaC to implement the Wardaman Indigenous Protected Area plan of management, predominately through the establishment of a community ranger group. The group is committed and will dedicate their country under the IPA framework and are looking forward to commencing on-country land management initiatives in 2013-2014.

Mary River National Park

The Mary River plan of management has been reviewed and reworked to include more tourism opportunities. Flexible employment has become the backbone of the park, providing additional resources and opportunities for traditional owners to be involved in day to day management and to gain other skills. Currently this Park is entirely staffed by Aboriginal employees.

The joint management committee has been working cooperatively to address illegal hunting activities and develop ideas and processes to stem such activities. Successful trials have occurred for processing permit applications which include cultural considerations. This is working well.

Photo 39: Mary River National Park Committee L-R: Chris Smith, Stephen Barry and Christian Barzca (IBA), Andrew Henda (black hat), Grant Hunt (Anthropologist), Phillip Goodman (side stance), Darryl Tambling, Roger Yates, Matthew Punch (NLC Lawyer) and David Kenyon.

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Adelaide River Parks

The Adelaide River Parks representative committee worked well to complete their plan of management and are developing a visitor experience plan. The committee also worked through hunting issues relevant to the waterfowl season which will improve how hunting occurs in these parks. The committee adopted a new motto—healthy hunting = healthy country. Currently in this Park, fifty per cent of the employees are Aboriginal.

Tjuwaliyn Hot Springs

Although there has been a hold up in park negotiations for joint management, the NLC in co-operation with the Tjuwaliyn Hot Springs Steering Committee was successful in receiving grant funding from the ABA for a Cultural Art Project and Meeting Place initiative to improve the campground facility and experience. This work is anticipated to take place while considering other models of joint management.

Photo 40: Adelaide River Joint Management Committee L-R: Pam Wickham, Tarizma and Jacob Kenyon, Tayannah Kenyon, Joan Kenyon, Pamela Talbot, Edward Talbot, Joe Browne, Phillip Browne, Rosiene Browne and Lincoln Wilson.

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Photo 41: Wagiman women traditional owners discuss joint management arrangements with Parks and Wildlife staff. Back L-R: Lincoln Wilson, Sean Webster. Middle L-R: Theresa Bandison, Doreen Liddy (seated), Pamela Liddy, Evonne Muggleton, Paige Butler, Liz Sullivan, Melissa Banderson, Norma McMah. Front L-R: Junior Muggleton, Christine Martin.

Outcome

Consistent with traditional owner aspirations, NLC focused on engaging in a broad scale review and strategic planning to provide directions for the efficient operation of parks and conservation reserves on Aboriginal lands in the NT into the future. The day to day parks operation and implementation of joint management plans are enhanced through the development of Indigenous employment and training strategies including the tourism master plan.

Participatory planning processes have built Wardaman traditional owner capacities and set future directions through the development and endorsement of the Wardaman Indigenous Protected Areas Plan of Management, which guides land and water management activities.

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Water Allocation Planning Over the past two years extensive consultations (refer to NLC 2011-2012 Annual Report) have been held with traditional owners and NTG Water Resources officers, scientific and research agencies and other stakeholder to discuss the draft Water Allocation Plans for Oolloo and Mataranka Tindal Water Aquifers.

Traditional owners also participated in the government appointed advisory group, the Daly River Aboriginal Reference Group (DRARG) and a community appointed Mataranka Traditional Owners Water Advisory Group (MTOWAG) to develop a written and video submission for the Oolloo and Mataranka Aquifer Water Allocation Plans. It was anticipated that the Plans would be declared soon after the submission closing date and prior to the 2012 NT Legislative Assembly Election.

Despite being in the draft water allocation plan documents the new NTG wrote to NLC advising the government would not include a Strategic Indigenous Reserve in the Water Allocation Plans, but would review this decision in five years time. To date the water allocation plans have not been declared.

Challenges

Once the NTG Water Controller fully allocates the consumptive pool through water extraction licences then traditional owners will be further disadvantaged from participating in the water economies. The intention of the Strategic Indigenous Reserve was to allow the development of water-based economies around agriculture, aquaculture and / or pastoral enterprises, and in the future enable traditional owners to enter the water trading scheme.

“Warramarramundji, created the water. Yurrumul owns the water. There is a story

about the senior Murran leader Tim Milbul asserting water rights over Croker Island traditional owners. The clans had to negotiate with him for access to drinking water on the mainland—his country.” —(pers. con. M. Yarmirr, Croker Island 3 April 2012)

Outcome

This water allocation planning project is a great example of collaboration to break down barriers. Traditional owners, government officials, research agencies, farmers, pastoralists, the NLC and NAILSMA worked over an extended period to facilitate landowner consultations and assist water planners to develop water allocation plans.

Australian Government grant funds administered through NAILSMA along with support from NLC was efficiently spent to build landowners’ capacity and understanding of complex scientific water information and data and transfer of cultural knowledge. The consultation and engagement process and handing over of cultural information was done in good faith.

NLC has since engaged a consultant to do resource assessment scoping study to identify viable commercial opportunities in the Mataranka area. If a viable opportunity is identified, funding will be required and sought to undertake a feasibility study and business plan to assist interested landowners in that region.

Land Claims & Acquisitions Support Services

Photo 42: Mr Bill Harney, Wardaman elder, testing out a new-looking didjeridoo.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Land Claims Objective: To assist Aboriginal people to obtain or acquire property rights over their traditional land and seas.

In addition to providing a pathway for the grant of secure estates or interests in Aboriginal land, a central purpose of the ALRA is to provide for the granting of land in the NT for the benefit of its traditional owners.

The Act provides that Aboriginal people may make a claim to unalienated Crown land outside of gazetted town areas, and land in which all estates and interests are owned by, or on behalf of Aboriginal people, such as Aboriginal-owned pastoral leases.

Accordingly, one of the NLC’s functions is “to assist Aboriginals claiming to have a traditional land claim to an area of land within the area of the NLC in pursuing the claim.”

The ALRA establishes the office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner whose functions include consideration of claims to land by Aboriginal groups.

Research and logistics for land claims are the primary responsibility of the Legal and Anthropology Branches of the Northern Land Council.

Kenbi Land Claim

This claim involved land and islands around Cox Peninsula near Darwin. Lodged in the 1970s and requiring three distinct hearings before the Land Commissioner and elsewhere, Kenbi is one of the longest proceedings in Territory history. In December 2000 Justice Gray, then the Aboriginal Land Commissioner, published his report and recommendations that were in favour of the claimants. Discussions have been ongoing with regard to detriment and other issues and significant progress continues to be made towards

settlement. It is anticipated that the majority of the Cox Peninsula and the surrounding islands will finally become Aboriginal land in the 2013-2014 period.

Vernon Islands, Wickham River, and Kakadu (Repeat) Land Claims

All have been the subject of extensive research and documentation. The Vernon Islands land claim, involving three islands to the north east of Darwin in the Clarence Strait, was subject to trial and on-country hearing and all have seen extensive legal submission and negotiations. Final settlement is expected soon and the country involved should become Aboriginal land.

Other land acquisition

A vast proportion of land (almost 50%) in the NT is covered by pastoral leases and as such is not eligible for claim under the ALRA unless it is already owned by, or held for the benefit of Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal people who were residents on pastoral leases prior to 1986 are eligible to apply under Part 8 of the Pastoral Land Act 1992 for the grant of a Community Living Area. This is a small block of land excised from a pastoral lease and granted as freehold to an Aboriginal family or community for residential purposes.

Under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) the Howard Government introduced new legislation, which set up five-year leases over all communities on Aboriginal land and Community Living Areas. The leases expired in August 2012.

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Support Services

Goyder River Bridge and Road Line, Central Arnhem Road

The construction of a bridge over the Goyder River is one of a series of major crossing upgrades along the Central Arnhem Road approved by traditional owners and is a good example of how NLC identifies, engages and consults with the appropriate people to get positive outcomes. The NTG received $19 million funding from the Australian Government for this road project. The other crossing upgrades were completed over the Mainoru River crossing (on pastoral lands) and the Donydji Creek crossing.

The road line and Goyder Bridge sites were surveyed in consultation with the traditional owners who decided to move the road away

from sacred sites. This meant a complete re-alignment of the road further north of the original crossing and now includes three bridge crossings.

Minor works started in November 2012 and have a contractual completion date of mid February 2014. Works are progressing and may even be completed by December 2013.

Map 9: Red line shows original Central Arnhem Road and Goyder River crossing. White line corridor is the new road alignment.

Photo 43: Consultation Meeting relating to the Goyder River Bridge.

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The main Goyder Bridge will be 161 metres in length, the western bridge spans 46 metres and eastern bridge is 30 metres in length. The 2.77 kilometre of sealed road approaching the bridges will help reduce dust and provide traffic with a clear line of vision.

A site visit was facilitated in July between the traditional owners and the company to inspect and ask questions about the works in progress and to consult regarding gravel pit extraction and locations.

A Selection of Anthropology Region Profile

Darwin Daly Wagait Port Keats Region is a large geographical area that extends from the city of Darwin and nearby Cox Peninsula, east to the Adelaide River, and then bounded by the north-south arterial Stuart Highway to just south of the Pine Creek township; then west from there to the coast and bounded in the south by the Fitzmaurice River.

The Indigenous demographic is as diverse as it is extensive in this region, spreading from urban to rural living, to remote living in isolated communities. There are a number of language group models of traditional ownership, with the majority of traditional ownership consisting of clan estate groups that adhere to either

patrilineal or cognatic descent. Ceremony is still a big part of life in the remote communities through a reciprocal arrangement that exists between the three ceremonial genres Wangga, Lirrga and Dhanba.

The land tenure of the region is largely Aboriginal land trusts administered under the ALRA, in particular the:

» Daly River Port Keats;

» Malak Malak;

» Upper Daly;

» Wagiman No. 1 & No. 2;

» Finniss River;

» Delissaville, Wagait Larrakia and

» Gurundju Aboriginal Land Trusts.

Pastoral and native title land interests make up approximately forty percent of the area.

A wide range of activities, other than government services, are currently undertaken in this region, including carbon farming and conservation on the Fish River property; liquefied gas refining at Wadeye; rare earth

Photo 44: Goyder River crossing looking west prior to road works. Photo 45: Looking east at the new main Goyder Bridge works.

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exploration; recreational and commercial fisheries in the intertidal zone; land and sea management through community ranger groups including high volume tourism activities throughout Litchfield National Park, Tjuwaliyn, Umbrawarra and Fogg Dam Reserves.

Consultations over a diverse range of activities included township, residential and commercial lot leasing—for example, a childcare centre; site surveys relating to preliminary exploration program work; 5 year lease compensation work; oil and gas exploration on Aboriginal and native title land and on-going Blue Mud Bay consultations over the intertidal areas that adjoin Aboriginal land.

Photo 46: Yak Diminin Dancers—Wadeye Ceremony 2011

surveys are planned to map out the proposed route, and towards the later part of 2013 consultations and negotiations will commence.

The oil and gas industry has also taken a keen interest in Arnhem Land, and in addition to mineral exploration, a large number of applications are coming in for oil and gas tenements that need to be consulted on. The focus of these has been on exploring for natural gas deposits in shale rock, which would be extracted using the hydraulic fracturing process, more commonly known as ‘frakking’.

This method of extraction has received wide public attention nationally and internationally and traditional owners are aware it is both complex and contentious and technology is still developing. Understandably there are concerns about ground water pollution, as water holds great significance, especially to Yolngu traditional owners.

North East Arnhem Land

Signatories to the Bark Petition are traditional owners of the bauxite deposit in and around Nhulunbuy, so landowners are completely aware of the interest in mining in the north east Arnhem Land region. The main project related to bauxite mining operations and the survival of the township is the proposed gas pipeline from Katherine to the Pacific Aluminium Refinery at Nhulunbuy. Consultations are extensive and dedicated teams provided information sessions with the company prior to allowing environmental studies to commence. Site

Photo 47: Traditional owners and custodians travel the proposed pipeline access route.

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Katherine Region

Anthropology matters have also been dominated by consultations for the Pacific Aluminium Gas pipeline to Gove. For this region, it concerns the route between Stuart Highway, through Beswick, Barunga, Flying Fox Creek, Mainorou River crossing Bulman, Weemol and through to Barrapunta. While the alignment of the pipeline is similar to TTP’s proposal in 2004, the current project has required consultation for the numerous access tracks and various ancillary infrastructure, including camps, and technical stations that support the running and maintenance of the pipeline route. These have involved in depth and detailed discussions with traditional Aboriginal land owners about sacred site locations, burial and ceremony grounds and dreaming tracks that need to be protected and avoided before final alignment of the route and infrastructure can be completed.

After preliminary discussions about the areas in question, traditional owners and Junggayi, along with consultant anthropologists and construction engineers, visited the proposed tracks and marked out areas that would need to be averted. The involvement of traditional owners at this stage of the process meant that this type of joint engagement and exchange of information for a major project was crucial to its progression.

Photo 48: Proposed pipeline access track point.

West Arnhem Land

This anthropology region encompasses the western part of the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust. Geographically it is bordered by the Kakadu National Park, the Van Diemen Gulf and Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg Peninsula) to the west, in the north by the Arafura Sea including the islands of Croker, South and North Goulburn. Towards the east along the Liverpool and Mann River the region joins with the Central Arnhem anthropology region and in the south it extends to the upper Mann and upper East Alligator River where it meets the wider Katherine anthropology region.

The four major communities in west Arnhem Land are Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Minjilang and Warruwi and in between there are numerous family outstations.

The most widely spread language group in west Arnhem Land is Kunwinjku, but there are a number of other spoken languages, such as Gundjeihmi, Iwaidja, Maung, Ndjebbana, and on the peripheries Jawoyn, Dangbon and Rembarrnga.

Photo 49: Traditional owner Carol Nayilibidj and Eva Molnar, the West Arnhem Anthropologist, updating clan genealogies.

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The traditional land tenure system in this region is the model of patrilineal local descent or ‘clan’ group (kunmokurrkurr in Kunwinjku) as being the land-owning core group of a particular estate, whose extent is defined by ‘big names’, places (kunred) and sacred sites (djang) affiliated to that group. However, affiliations to country are very complex and besides the land-owning group with primary rights there can be many other groups or individuals with interests in a particular country through certain kinship links, company and ceremonial connections.

Mining exploration work continues in this region and companies over 12 tenements are exploring for uranium. Another remarkable current project is an economic scoping study that NLC commissioned through a not-for-profit Aboriginal owned company, Centrefarm working under the NLC brand name of TopEndFarm.

Central Arnhem Land

The central Arnhem Land anthropology region overlaps both the east Arnhem and west Arnhem NLC regions. The major communities within central Arnhem Land are Milingimbi and Ramingining, with many outstations along the Blyth and Cadell Rivers and the Arafura Wetlands. Like all regions there is a wide variety of activity including consultations covering topics as diverse as mining and gas exploration, crocodile egg collection, land management strategies, tourism and festivals, as well as many leases within communities, road maintenance and bridge construction. Many of these consultations resulted in land use agreements being established, and regional anthropologists must then find the time and resources to arrange the distribution of subsequent rent monies and royalties received.

The highlight for this year was seeing the start of the bridge construction over the Goyder River. This was the result of many meetings since 2009 involving traditional owners, NLC, AAPA and the NTG. They worked closely on this project until traditional owners provided a solution to ensure there would be no damage to sacred sites by nominating a route and location for the new Goyder Bridge.

It has also been very satisfying to witness the increase in crocodile nesting sites as a direct result of the buffalo cull in the Arafura Swamp (refer to story on p79) and to see how dedicated the rangers are in providing environmental services, communication with

Photo 50: A new fishing safari operation being established at this site near the mouth of the Woolen River.

There are a great number of land use agreements that provide economic stimulation including Australian, NT and local government institutions providing infrastructure services, and private entities. The sustainable harvesting of live crocodile eggs is carried out by five separate companies each wet season. This region attracts high visitation and is of interest to the tourism industry through recreational fishing in Mountnorris and Malay Bays as well as at Liverpool and Tomkinson Rivers, and licensed safari hunting operations around Coopers Creek, Murganella River and Mann River. A number of cultural tours are conducted in and around the Gunbalanya, Injalak Art Centre and Kakadu National Park.

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landowners, including collecting and hatching crocodile eggs to provide an income source to go back into land and sea management activities. Another positive project beginning to take shape after a number of years of consultations is a new tourism venture at the mouth of the Woolen River.

Outcome

Staff working and based in the regions is beneficial not only for direct liaison with traditional owners but because knowledge is shared, there are holistic views of land tenure issues, views and people help make informed decisions, better agreements and protects the lands won back.

Since the passing of the ALRA in 1976 there have been 249 land claims lodged with the Land Commissioner, of these 137 have been by the NLC. The land subsequently granted, along with the older reserves and missions means that Aboriginal freehold held under the ALRA now comprises a little under 50% of the Northern Territory.

Native Title Report

Photo 51: Bootu Creek—a registered site of significance prior to mining activity.

Photo 52: Bootu Creek—the desecration of a registered site of significance as a consequence of mining activity.

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About the Native Title Act Since its formation in the mid 1970s the NLC has worked to promote Aboriginal land rights through the ALRA. However with the passage of the Native Title Act 1993 (NTA) the NLC has sought recognition for Aboriginal people for their rights in land and water across a wider area including pastoral leases and townships. In 1992 the High Court of Australia for the first time gave legal recognition to the common law native title land rights of Australia’s Indigenous peoples (Mabo No 2).

Native title as it is codified in the NTA differs from western forms of title in three significant ways. Firstly, it is premised on the group or communal ownership of land, rather than on private property rights; secondly, it is a recognition and registration of rights and

interests in relation to areas of land which pre-date British sovereignty, rather than a formal grant of title by government; thirdly, it may coexist with forms of granted statutory title, such as pastoral leases, over the same tracts of land.

Native title thus exists in a complex legal, administrative and cultural environment of intersecting and sometimes conflicting interests. The NLC is committed to resolving Native Title claims through negotiation and mediation, rather than litigation, where possible and is now part of a Federal Court initiative aimed at settlement of the Native Title Determination Agreements over the Territory’s pastoral leases and townships.

Native Title Quick Facts The Native Title Act 1993 (NTA) introduced a statutory scheme for the recognition of Native Title in those areas where Aboriginal groups have been able to maintain a traditional connection to land and where the actions of governments have not otherwise extinguished their prior title. The Act provided for the recognition of pre-existing rights to land and waters, the making of future acts and the resolution of claims for compensation.

Native title is a set of rights and interests in relation to land or waters.

Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) are agreements between groups claiming native title and others about the management and use of land and waters. They can be made before or after a determination that native title exists or where there is no native title application at all.

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Native Title Determination Applications In the reporting period, the NLC successfully settled two long standing native title matters, being the township of Mataranka Native Title claim and the Beetaloo-Hayfield cluster of claims consisting of 10 pastoral leases and the historic Daly Waters Township.

Set in the ‘Never-Never’ region, famous from Ms Gunn’s 1908 book We of the Never-Never, Mataranka is one of the Territory’s more historic townships, established early in our history. In March 2012, Justice Finn handed down his decision acknowledging the Najig and Guyanggan Ngannawirdbird traditional owners’ native title rights and interests in and around the township. After 10 long years this decision was reached by consent of all parties involved and avoided lengthy and costly litigation.

Justice Finn stated that the recognition of native title rights through a consent process was indicative of the change in attitudes towards native title since its inception over 20 years ago.

“We are thankfully getting closer to an environment in which co-operation and goodwill and reasonable accommodations are replacing distrust, hostility and onerous requirements of proof,” he said.

The consent ceremony was followed by traditional dancing and singing by Najig and Guyanggan Ngannawirdbird people to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Following the successful Mataranka determination, on 27th June the Federal Court recognised native title rights and interests over the town of Daly Waters and 10 surrounding pastoral leases, including Beetaloo Station. Justice Lander, presiding at historic Newcastle Waters, made the judgement recognising the native title holders’ rights over approximately 30,000km² of land.

In his judgement Lander Justice concluded that, “The recognition of what is an ancient connection with the land the subject of this determination is a very significant matter and the parties and their legal advisors are to be congratulated on working cooperatively to bring it about”.

The strength, support and patience of traditional owners and the NLC’s hard work is at the forefront of these exceptional outcomes, to protect and acknowledge Aboriginal culture and traditional land use and interests for future generations. These determinations also award native title holders the right to have input into the use of their traditional land. As CEO Kim Hill stated, “celebrations like this one remind us that the land rights movement that began in earnest in the ‘60s and ‘70s is still alive and well all these years later”.

Research and other work is underway in relation to other applications, particularly in the Borroloola Barkly and VRD region (refer to claims update on p102).

The NLC is confident that in the next financial year we will see a significant number of further consent determinations.

Native title a pplicatio Ns s tatistics 2012-2013

active c laimant

applications

As at 1 July 2012 131

As at 30 June 2013 131

New c laimant

applications

Filed 1 July 2012- 30 June 2013

1

Registered c laims As at 30 June 2013 32

compensation applications

Filed 1 July 2012- 30 June 2013

0

Non- claimant

applications

Filed 1 July 2012- 30 June 2013

0

Determinations of Native t itle

1 July 2012- 30 June 2013

30

Table 5: Statistics relate to the native title claims processes.

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Map 10: Shows the status of native title claims in NLC’s jurisdiction.

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Update on Current Claims In March 2010 anthropological and legal work began on the final stages to a group or ‘cluster’ of native title claims over pastoral leases and some towns. These claims were respectively known as the Beetaloo-Hayfield Matters, the Montejinni Matters, the Auvergne Matters and the Mataranka Matters.

Following extensive research, satisfactory documentation was provided to the Federal Court and respondent parties assuring them that the NLC had accurately identified the traditional owners for these claims and, demonstrated continuity of native title rights and interests. Following the successful consent determinations in 2011 of the Montejinni and Auvergne Matters, the Mataranka Township and the Beetaloo-Hayfield claims including the Township of Daly Waters were settled. On 21 March 2012 Justice Finn of the Federal Court, sitting on-country in Mataranka, handed down his decision that native title rights and interests exist in Mataranka. On 27 June 2012 at the Historic Newcastle Waters site north of Elliott, Justice Lander handed down his decision that native title exists over historic Beetaloo station and nine surrounding leases and the Daly Waters Township.

All this work accords with the Federal Court’s plan (over 5 years) to progress outstanding native title claims in the NT to consent determination. Many of these outstanding native title applications were lodged throughout 2001-2002 in response to notices about mining exploration licence applications. On top of the 22 pastoral leases of the Auvergne, Montejinni and Beetaloo matters, NLC Anthropology has to prepare more than 100 connection reports and associated maps and documents over the 5 year Federal Court schedule. During the 2012-2013 financial year the NLC has finalised, or is currently in the process of producing, approximately 65 connection reports for native title claims across the Barkly Tablelands, the Gulf regions and in the VRD region.

The areas these connection reports relate to include country to the west of the Stuart Highway around Larrimah and Daly Waters and pastoral leases situated north and north east of Tennant Creek in the Borroloola/ Barkly Tablelands region. The NLC is also in the final stages of completing anthropological research for the outstanding Borroloola Township Native Title Claim.

It is expected that the Federal Court will hand down its decisions next year on whether native title rights and interests exist over 18 pastoral leases west of Larrimah in the Dry River-Sturt Plateau area and over Tanumbirini and Broadmere stations.

Photo 53: Group 8 Native Title Claim Cluster—Dry River Katherine West—Sturt Plateau Region

The NLC has carried out extensive work in order to progress these claims over consecutive reporting period. Associated research has involved traditional owners, NLC lawyers, in-house and consultant anthropologists and mapping and research staff. As a part of this work, numerous field trips have been made to interview traditional owners. NLC staff have conducted secondary research and prepared affidavits for the re-submission of native title applications. The NLC has used this information to develop an extensive explanation of connection issues, including genealogical information, dreaming/ site maps and supporting material.

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Recent fieldwork has provided new accounts and has been integrated with earlier historic and ethnographic material. For example, recent research and fieldwork for the Groote Eylandt sea claim and the Carpentaria Downs-Balbirini pipeline corridor claim have produced a large amount of anthropological material that will help with the identification of traditional owners. This exercise has been beneficial in its own right as this documentation has now been recorded and will be available to NLC staff and future generations of Aboriginal people.

Due to the strength, support and patience of traditional owners and the NLC’s hard work it is expected that more consent determinations will be handed down by the Federal Court throughout 2014.

69+1+25+5+H Tenement type—notifications 2012-2013

Exploration Licences (87)

Exploration Permits (1)

Extractive Mineral Exploration Licences (31)

Extractive Mineral Leases (0)

Extractive Mineral Permits (0)

Mineral Leases (7)

Notification As far as is reasonably practicable, the NLC must ensure that Future Act Notices are brought to the attention of any person who holds or may hold native title in the area affected by the notice and that they are advised of the timeframes for responding to the notice. Strict timeframes exist for responding to notices, and these commence from the notification date given in the notice.

Future Act Notices

During the reporting period, the NLC was notified of 128 future acts related to mining that would potentially affect the rights and interests of traditional owners within its region. Two notifications were withdrawn by the Department of Mines and Energy. Substitute exploration licences and mineral claims are a non-compliant mining title and are likely to be converted in the near future to an appropriate title under the Northern Territory Minerals Titles Act 2010.

Figure 2: Future Act Notifications by Tenement Type in the NLC region—Total 126

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Future Act Notifications

250

200

150

100

50

0

62+72+81+82+502008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13Figure 3: 5 Year Trend 2008-13— Future Act Notifications in the NLC region.Agreement MakingVarious agreements have been negotiated with traditional owners and outside parties for works on native title lands. Technically, mining related agreements did not give rise to ILUAs being registered under the NTA. In terms of heritage protection, the NLC relies on the NT Sacred Sites Act and therefore did not enter into ILUAs this year. The NLC facilitates the negotiation of agreements to ensure that native title claimants are, in most cases, provided with a package that offers economic and employment opportunities. Agreement-making requires the allocation of considerable resources. The finalisation of the agreement does not mean that the NLC’s role is completed. The NLC is ordinarily responsible under agreements for the distribution of benefits in accordance with decisions made under traditional law and custom. Many agreements require NLC support to enable the native title parties to take advantage of employment, training and business opportunities which may occur when a project proceeds.The NLC often works for many years to secure the benefits of the agreement for native title holders and to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of land use. Other Functions

NLC Anthropology Seminar 2013

The anthropology branch invited special guests and staff to keep abreast of developments in anthropology, native title and related disciplines.

The NLC received $30,000 from the Attorney-General Department’s Anthropology Grant to fund the annual anthropology seminar and workshop. The funding outcomes were to educate and encourage young, fresh-out-of-university anthropologists to get involved with native title matters. It also served as a platform for seasoned anthropologists to impart their knowledge and advice and to participate in lively debate.

A series of lectures centred on this year’s theme which was ‘the Ethnographic Record’. The first lecture was delivered by Dr Nicholas Peterson, followed by anthropologists Dr Martin Thomas, Jeff Stead, Robert Graham, Dr Mary Laughren, Dr Philip Clarke and Dr David Martin. The main focus was imparting knowledge gathered over the years and setting the discussion towards a workshop on the second day. Historian, Sam Wells, discussed how ethnography is used in native title work—in particular how historical research assisted and continues to assist with native title claim process.

Tom Keely and Dr David Ritchie dissected an ALRA case quote “there are no traditional owners left for the claim area—they have finished—only one old man left” from both a legal and anthropological angle. They considered the use of ethnographic record, its limitations and use of ethnographic materials and the pitfalls of introducing such material into contemporary narratives.

Others presented a story based on a special object. This was a great exercise that showcased varied responses and interpretations of cultural objects.

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Aurora Internships The Aurora Native Title Internship Program places law, anthropology and social science students with Native Title Representative Bodies. This year the Northern Land Council supported two interns from the summer intake, namely Chris Brown and Nicole Donnelly. Both interns proved eager and willing to learn and embraced the opportunity to learn from more experience anthropologist through various field trips and provided a short account of their time with NLC.

Chris Brown

Completing an undergraduate degree in 2012 and continuing in 2013 to do honours in anthropology at the University of Queensland, I was keen to gain some experience and understanding of the realities of anthropological work in the context of Indigenous ‘owned’ land, government policy and resource management. My knowledge of the arena was expanded beyond anticipation; the experience shaping my further post graduate study and enthusiasm for working in Indigenous affairs. Additionally travelling away from my Queensland context, experiencing new places and people, gave me a broader perspective and was really enjoyable. The NLC personnel ensured that I was engaged with real work situations providing research and genealogical data entry tasks and guidance as well as the space to initiate my own ideas and involvement.

The field trip involved meeting with Miriuwung Gajerrong people who have native title rights to land that is split by the Western Australian and NT borders. Stage 3 of the Ord River Project is proposed on the NT side, our initial interactions were to provide information about the governments ideas for agriculture development. Consultations will continue when a development proposal is received from the NTG. This meeting showed me important aspects of cross-cultural consultation.

The contexts for anthropological work demonstrated the boundaries within which Indigenous people must negotiate land as well as the changing ideas around employment and use of country. Recognition of original occupation within Australia has engaged land and sea titles in which Indigenous people must continue to negotiate both the space they see as their homeland as well as their approach to living within those spaces. In doing the internship I got an inside view of what it can be like to do anthropological work, stakeholders hold different perspectives on property and resource use and anthropologists play a vital role in the consultation processes.

I recommend to anyone who is interested in getting hands on experience of their field of study to apply for an internship with Aurora as it deepens your understanding of what you are studying for now as well as prepare you for employment in the future.

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Nicole Donnelly

Having almost completed a Masters degree in Applied Anthropology & Participatory Development I was looking for the opportunity to gain experience within the Indigenous sector in Australia.

I applied for the Aurora Internship Program with the expectation of gaining practical experience as an anthropologist and an insight into the work and functions of NLC as well as gaining a practical understanding of the native title process and challenges involved. I was aware of the fact that the organisation is extremely busy and working to meet stringent deadlines therefore I was prepared and expecting to be performing a range of tasks. During the internship my expectations were exceeded, especially when I accompanied senior anthropologists on field trips to country and was involved in community consultations.

I completed a wide range of diverse tasks including transcribing interviews and creating representative biographies for traditional owners involved in native title claims, creating maps using the software Arc Map and answering requests for the identification of traditional Aboriginal owners for some specific areas. This involved using the NLC’s databases to identify and list those who would need to be contacted and involved in consultations as well as interested and affected parties. Other tasks included editing anthropology reports and maps, categorising maps, compiling genealogy reports, and attending seminars.

I attended two trips on country which provided me with an insight into the realities of both the native title process and ALRA legislation for Aboriginal peoples. During my first trip on country I observed how anthropologists and lawyers worked together at a native title authorisation meeting. Both parties collaborated together to disseminate information and ensure that the traditional owners understood the concept of native title and the process involved in making a claim.

I then accompanied a senior anthropologist to Timber Creek in the Victoria River Region to meet with traditional owners who owned large portions of land in and around the town under the ALRA. The purpose of the meeting was to confirm public access areas and what areas would require Aboriginal land signage.

The highlight of the internship was definitely these field trips, I felt very fortunate to attend these trips and hear Aboriginal people’s stories, challenges and experiences living on their country.

The internship has been a valuable and enjoyable experience contributing to both my personal and professional development. The five weeks were spent constantly learning and developing a deeper understanding of the work of NLC. NLC itself is a friendly, busy organisation staffed with passionate people who are committed to representing Aboriginal peoples.

Economic Development and Commercial Services

Photo 54: Bill Danks, Darwin Council Member addresses the 105th Full Council Meeting.

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Aboriginal lands and sea in remote Australia are rich in biodiversity and other natural resources and have the potential to deliver economic opportunities and outcomes. A major function of the NLC is to express the wishes of traditional Aboriginal owners. In terms of economic development, this is carried out through s19 ALRA land use agreements.

The NLC carries out consultations and negotiations on behalf of traditional owners with those who are interested in carrying out commercial activities on Aboriginal land. The NLC must ensure that any land use proposal is reasonable, and that the appropriate landowning group is given the opportunity to make an informed decision in accordance with their traditional decision making processes. Affected Aboriginal people are also given an opportunity to express their views about a particular land use agreement.

Once informed consent is reached, the NLC considers the land use proposal and may direct the appropriate Aboriginal Land Trust to enter into a licence or lease agreement with the proponent.

Prior to taking land use proposals to the traditional owners for their consideration, multidisciplinary teams within the NLC, comprising regional office staff, lawyers, anthropologist and external experts, undertake a rigorous assessment of all land use proposals.

Business and economic development in remote parts of the NT can be impeded by a number of factors. Some proposals may provide insufficient detail about the proposed operational area. Land use proposals may cover more than one group’s traditional lands and therefore consultations and logistics of

bringing the decision makers together can be complex. Seasonal factors dictate when and where community consultations can be held. The majority occur during the dry season (April to October) however this window of opportunity puts pressure on both NLC staff and its constituents in relation to planning and holding meetings and meeting legislative timeframes.

NLC operates an electronic database called the Knowledge Information Management System (KIMS) to record expressions of interest for land use agreements. KIMS ensures each expression of interest is entered into the data base when received, and allows the NLC to monitor the progress of applications and provide accurate statistics for performance reports. KIMS is designed to monitor compliance information with negotiated land use agreements.

The range of micro-enterprises, private businesses, government and community development initiatives continues to increase and NLC is strategically focused on developing enterprises on Aboriginal land.

The benefits of securing s19 ALRA leases, facilitated by the NLC in accordance with the requirements of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 for traditional Aboriginal owners, Aboriginal community members and stakeholders include:

» secure tenure - for traditional owners, public housing tenants, proponents (government and commercial) and investors (financial institutions);

» secure rental returns administered by the NLC and subject to the protections in the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern

Land Use Agreements Objective: To secure economic, social and cultural benefits for traditional owners from developments taking place on Aboriginal land.

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Territory) Act 1976, with rates typically determined by the Valuer-General by reference to the unimproved capital value of the land;

» a consistent approach to leasing on Aboriginal land, whereby proponents are familiar with NLC forms and procedures providing certainty for investment.

With the increased interest in use of Aboriginal land and sea in northern Australia for commercial and government purposes, the NLC has demonstrated its ability, using its long institutional experience, to ably and efficiently respond for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.

Achievements

Since 1 July 2012 the Full Council has endorsed 69 s19 ALRA land use agreements, this figure comprised 35 agreements endorsed at November 2012 and 34 at the May 2013 Full Council Meeting.

A large percentage of these agreements were s19 ALRA leases obtained for parcels of land in Aboriginal communities that were affected by the compulsory five-year leases introduced by the Australian Government through the Northern Territory Emergency Response. The five-year leases commenced in 2007 and expired mid-August 2012.

The income that will be generated through these lease agreements will stimulate economies in Top End communities and should produce a range of economic, cultural and social benefits for traditional owners in the future.

Major agreements

The Commonwealth’s compulsory 5 year leases over Aboriginal land expired in August 2012; all property that is not underpinned by a lease arrangement reverts back to the Aboriginal Land Trust. It is now both Australian Government and NTG policy that assets on Aboriginal land must be underpinned by secure tenure arrangements.

Government policy on appropriate tenure arrangements has paved the way for the approval of a large number of s19 ALRA agreements in Aboriginal communities in the NLC region. Leasing arrangements have included public housing, schools, education and training facilities, police stations, health centres, crèches, safe houses, essential services infrastructure, government employee housing, work premises, ranger stations, residential housing, commercial operations and a residential development.

The increasing number of s19 ALRA land use agreements in Aboriginal communities will generate significant revenue from rental income for traditional Aboriginal owners.

Challenges

The increasing number of lease agreements requires greater resources to properly monitor the compliance aspects of these contracts and assist traditional owners to harness economic development opportunities.

The Commercial and Community Projects Unit, which encompasses the regional office network, assists traditional owners with economic development activities through land use agreement processes, oversees agreement compliance, and assists the development of the KIMS data base towards a robust application that manages an increasing workload.

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Outcome

This year, 69 s19 ALRA land use agreements were presented and ratified at NLC Full Council Meetings.

A significant portion of the generated income $38,479,281 from projects on Aboriginal land goes back into the local economy.

Whilst the economics are easily quantifiable, the social and cultural benefits are not.

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The NLC assists Aboriginal people to use their rights to land and seas to buy into the future of the NT and to secure long term sustainable jobs and careers pathways.

The NLC’s Jobs and Careers Service Unit (JACS) was designed to maximise jobs and careers for Aboriginal people on major projects on Aboriginal land or where there are native title interests in land. JACS first priority is to negotiate job commitments from all major projects.

JACS achieves results through its strategic focus on the key industry sectors and its successful employment model. JACS aims to provide Aboriginal people with qualifications, skills and experiences that are recognised Australia wide through direct referral and on the job training and or pre-employment training.

JACS endeavours to:

a) assist in negotiating maximum job commitments from major projects subject to Indigenous Land Use Agreements;

b) ensure that employment commitments made by employers are kept; and

c) provide on-going mentoring to employees and employers.

JACS has a clear strategy to develop and maintain partnerships with major stakeholders in the labour market, so that clients have greater access to jobs and careers. Under this approach, partnerships have been established with:

» Mineral Council Australia NT (MCANT)

» Numerous Job Service Providers, Registered Training Organisations and Group Training Organisations

Current projects

Major employment projects undertaken this year include:

» MCANT and Batchelor Indigenous Institute of Technology and Education Mining Course - won a National Training Award which involved JACS

» Bootu Creek Mine

» Frances Creek Mine

» Western Desert Resources Agreement

» Sherwin Iron

Employment, Education and Training Objective: Develop employment and training plans in partnership with industry and government stakeholders, and facilitate the implementation of these plans.

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Frances Creek Project - Territory Iron

Territory Iron have committed to twenty traineeships every year for the life of the mine. Results from the 2013 pre-employment course recently completed through CDU are exceptional.

Jobs Guaranteed 20

Duration 6 weeks

(April - May 2013)

Course Places 20

Graduations 17

Jobs All participants were traditional Aboriginal owners.

17 offered 15 commenced

Photo 55: Francis Creek Mine Training Graduates May 2012

Western Desert Resources (WDR)

JACS had major input into the negotiations of jobs and funding commitments in the WDR project, which is still in construction phase. It is believed that the WDR target of 20% from start of production and 30% after two years is the highest ever set in Australia.

WDR and NLC conducted a Roller course:

Jobs Guaranteed - WDR 8

Duration 2 weeks (May 2013)

Registered Training Organisation

ATI

Course Places 12

Graduations 11

Jobs All participants were from Ngukurr traditional Aboriginal owners.

11 offered 11 commenced

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Sherwin Iron

JACS had major input into the negotiations of jobs and funding commitments in the Sherwin Iron Project. It is believed that the WDR target of 20% Indigenous employment from start of Production and 30% after 2 years is the highest ever set in Australia for the beginning of mine operations.

Challenges

The challenge for JACS is continuing to work with employers to ensure that Indigenous employment targets are met and employees adequately supported in performing their duties.

Significant policy changes in the remote employment environment have occurred this financial year, including the Community Development and Employment Program. Adapting to this changed environment and continuing to deliver outcomes will most likely require significant flexibility and new approaches from JACS.

Securing long term funding to expand the work of the JACS unit also represents a significant challenge to maintaining current levels of progress and outcomes.

Outcomes

Training and mentoring is a job retention strategy that JACS has used successfully. This ongoing support and the availability of a local workforce is assisting at least two mining companies which are aiming to meet their commitment of 20% Indigenous employment.

Photo 56: Annual Environmental Audit of Ranger Uranium Mine

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Mining (Includes Energy and Resources Exploration) Objective: Efficiently process exploration and mining applications and provide accurate advice on potential environmental impacts and benefits.

The exploration and the recovery of minerals, hydrocarbons and resources are seen as major contributing factors towards improving the future development of the NT economy. The minerals and energy portfolio are administered and regulated by NT legislation: Minerals Titles Act 2010, the Petroleum Act 2011 or the Geothermal Energy Act 2009.

Parallel to the overarching minerals and energy portfolio, evidently there are potential environmental and social impacts that may directly affect the existing environment, the traditional owners, and the cultural social activities and interests of traditional owners. These impacts, whether small or large scale, are likely to affect many culturally sensitive areas which are significantly important to Aboriginal people. The rights and interests of traditional owners are protected by land tenure and are recognised by the Commonwealth of Australia as freehold land granted under the ALRA; or through a continuous cultural connectivity to the land demonstrated in accordance with the requirements of the NTA.

The NT continues to receive many applications for minerals and energy exploration licences to explore land affected by the above Acts. As a result, over 90% of the NLC region is now covered by applications to explore for minerals, petroleum or sources of geothermal energy.

The NLC is the statutory representative of traditional Aboriginal owners under both Acts. This makes the NLC responsible for advocacy on behalf of traditional Aboriginal owners; that where possible, impacts on the environment and culture that result from mineral and energy

Photo 57: Victoria River District Regional Council Members receive a briefing from Mining Branch Senior Project Officer.

projects are minimised. The NLC meets these responsibilities by providing advice and services such as:

» Respond to formal applications from the minerals and energy sector in relation to access to Aboriginal freehold land;

» Respond to formal NT Government notices of proposed “future acts” pursuant to the NTA;

» Consult, negotiate and draft equitable agreements on behalf traditional owners;

» Assess the potential impacts of approved minerals and energy projects, low level exploration activities and industrial projects; and

» Assess and distribute the benefits to traditional owners.

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Map 11: Mineral Exploration in NLC Region

A key requirement of processing resource-based agreements is to ensure that the free, prior and informed consent of traditional owners is obtained. This requires the NLC to maintain a high level of technical expertise, knowledge and skills across a number of fields. In practice, the key elements of this work are:

» Identifying the correct traditional owners, estate groups and affected people for land within a proposed development area;

» Arranging consultations on or near the proposed project area itself (i.e. on-country);

» Understanding and effectively communicating the technical nature of a proposed resource project, its timeframes, commercial opportunities, and potential environmental and social costs and benefits;

» Ensuring that all relevant information is presented in a balanced and fair manner;

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» Negotiating agreements suited to specific resource projects and their proponents, traditional owners, estate groups, target minerals and other relevant factors;

» Planning and managing the relationships which develop during the life of an agreement; and

» Establishing whether the traditional owners have given consent to exploration and production and have approved the negotiated access agreement.

Of equal importance to effective advocacy is the capacity to communicate complex technical information to traditional owners and affected people and to effectively understand and communicate their concerns back to resource development companies and regulators. This is a cornerstone of ensuring free, prior and informed consent is obtained during the decision making process; and a platform to ensure that effective representation of traditional Aboriginal owners occurs. It is also fundamental to understanding the impacts that resource-based projects can have on the environment and Aboriginal culture.

Exploration Licences: Part IV Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976

Under the ALRA, the Government cannot approve a project unless the traditional Aboriginal owners have given their free, prior and informed consent. This requires the NLC to present all of the known relevant information related to the project; and to determine if consent has or has not been given and if the decision can be legally defended.

The NLC’s statutory obligations start once an explorer lodges an application for consent under Section 41 of Part IV of ALRA. These obligations remain in place until such time as a decision in respect of the application is finalised or the application is withdrawn.

Photo 58: Traditional Aboriginal Owners at a petroleum consultation in Wadeye

Each year the NLC manages and progresses a large number of exploration licence applications, petroleum exploration applications and granted tenements (refer to Figure 5). To achieve these outcomes, the NLC uses a four-step consultation process:

» Initial on-country consultations to establish if traditional owners wish to reject the application or if they wish to enter into negotiation of an agreement;

» On-country sacred site and clan boundary surveys combined with defined areas that need to be protected under the NT Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1978. This is usually done in conjunction with negotiations to discuss the contents of a draft agreement applicable to land that is made available for exploration;

» Final on-country consultations to allow traditional owners to consider and formally accept or refuse the application and its associated agreement; and

» If consented, delivery of a ministerially approved, executed agreement and formal notifications necessary for grant of the exploration licence.

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Once the agreement has been executed, the company is then obliged to present its proposed exploration activities and methods to traditional owners at a specially convened annual work programme meeting. These meetings are a contractual requirement and occur annually, although additional meetings would be required if significant changes to the agreed programme of works are made.

Figure 4: Mineral Exploration Licence Applications for the whole of the Northern Territory 2012-13, the pie chart distinguishes applications held on Aboriginal Freehold and Native Title lands.

Figure 5: Exploration Licence Applications by Land Council Region 2012-13.

Source: Department of Mines & Energy

85+15+H 47+52+1+HMineral Exploration Licence Applications in the Northern Territory

Exploration Licence Applications by Land Council Region

Native Title Held Lands (487)

Aboriginal Freehold Land (89)

Northern Land Council (275)

Central Land Council (300)

Tiwi Land Council (0)

Anindilyakwa Land Council (1)

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Aboriginal land exploration licences backlog and the new negotiating period

At the end of the 2012-2013 reporting period, the NLC carried a backlog of 141 (Table 6) uncompleted exploration licence applications on Aboriginal freehold land. It is probable that the decrease in the number of applications received this year allowed some time to finalise more applications than last year. The downturn in the global financial market may have impacted upon on the substantial increase in applications being withdrawn by explorers.

In analysis a total 109 consultations related to resource development on Aboriginal freehold land were completed. Again this represents a significant increase in working through the backlog to finalising consultations. These figures do not reflect the complexity and vastness of some exploration proposals and resources required to hold consultations.

Five Year Trend 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13

Applications that were already being processed on 1 July 176 153 164 142 164

add Applications received during this reporting period 21 49 44 64 32

subtract Applications explorers withdrew during the reporting period (30) (21) (20) (34) (40)

subtract Applications finalised during the reporting period (14) (17) (46) (8) (15)

TOTAL Applications still requiring NLC processing on 30 June 153 164 142 164 141

Table 6: ALRA Part IV Exploration Licence Applications Workload

Exploration licences: Native Title Act

The NLC is a native title representative body under the provisions of the NTA. As a part of its responsibility, the NLC deals with exploration licences and applications that are lodged on land over which native title applies.

Many of the mineral exploration applications are considered by the government to have minimal environmental and social impact and are quickly granted under an expedited procedure. In these cases, an agreement is normally negotiated only if the explorer finds an economically viable mineral deposit. However, applications such as those lodged by the oil and gas (petroleum) industry are likely to have significant environmental and

social impacts and automatically attract the procedural right for the NLC to negotiate an agreement on behalf of the native title parties. These petroleum exploration applications pose significant logistical problems as they cover vast tracts of land and can exist simultaneously over land that is already covered by mineral exploration or production licences that are operated by different companies.

The NLC held approximately 40 on-country consultations related to exploration and mining on native title lands this year. Table 7 below provides a breakdown by type and number of consultations held under the ALRA and NTA provisions.

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applications for e xploration Licences— aboriginal land 78

52 Stage 1 Initial consultations

26 Stage 3 Final consultations

Granted exploration Licences— aboriginal land 31

31 Contract management consultations, mainly dealing with an explorer's annual work plan for exploration

Surrendered e xploration Licences— aboriginal land 18

To bring an exploration agreement to an end following the explorer's departure, these consultations confirm satisfactory ground rehabilitation, deal with final payments, and resolve contractual and other loose ends

Other energy & resources Projects (minerals and energy applications on native title land) 87

Consultations not involving exploration licences on Aboriginal land or consultations to advance proposals to open, to re-open or to expand a mine.

15 consultations regarding operating mines (ongoing contractual, social and environmental arrangements) 32 consultations on mine closure and rehabilitation planning at Rum Jungle, Woodcutters and Ranger Uranium Mines.

40 Native title consultations for access or similar arrangements to facilitate exploration (future acts, work programmes, surveys excludes major projects)

Total: a ll energy & resources Consultations 214

Table 7: Resources & Energy Consultations On-Country 2012-13

Social Impact Assessment

Modern corporate responsibility measures require project developers to address twin concepts of the ‘social licence to operate’ and ‘community consent’. This requires them to focus on impacts not only on Aboriginal culture, but also on social structures. As industry expands its focus on these concepts, the NLC’s level of involvement in social impact assessments and projects continues to increase. These matters are now taking a greater degree of importance during agreement negotiations.

The NLC actively encourages Traditional Aboriginal owners to undertake on-country research aimed at improving the quality and relevance of information related to social impacts to directly inform management of risks associated with the cultural, environmental and social aspects of projects under development.

Outcomes are often reflected in terms of financial benefits linked either to payment of compensation or royalties from exploration and mining agreements; or other benefits that may be derived through employment, training or business development. The indelible link with traditional resource use, land management and ecological knowledge should not be ignored and is planned into these outcomes where possible.

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Negotiating Manageable Resources, Energy and Infrastructure Agreements

The NLC seeks to address disadvantages suffered by Aboriginal people and their communities through negotiation of positive financial and social outcomes in its resource development and infrastructure agreements. A greater focus on longer lasting benefits such as local infrastructure, employment and business development opportunities has occurred over the past five years. In general, these benefits have been positively received by resource companies and by traditional owners.

During the 2012-2013 reporting period 13 petroleum exploration agreements (EPAs) were executed. The high work volume of the branch is attributed to the large number of EPAs required to be processed and the high level of petroleum exploration activity that is being conducted on granted EPs. The benefits that flow from these negotiated agreements include:

» securing traditional owner participation in the exploration works planning and approvals process—annual reporting, on-country meetings and sacred sites surveys;

Map 12: Petroleum Exploration in the NLC Region

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» ensuring that petroleum companies work together with Aboriginal cultural monitors to protect sacred sites during exploration activities;

» encouraging local employment and the provision of training programmes;

» committing companies to high-level environmental and cultural considerations with penalties for non-compliance in serious cases; and

» providing exploration compensation payments (royalties), and more.

Contract Management: Performing Resource Related Agreements

Negotiated agreements carry with them a series of obligations and responsibilities assumed by the NLC on behalf of traditional Aboriginal owners. During 2012-2013, a high proportion of on-country consultations were executed to meet contractual obligations related to exploration licences, mining activities and infrastructure development. Wherever possible, the opportunity is taken under these contracts to facilitate seasonal and long-term employment for Aboriginal people.

In 2012-2013, some of the more significant contract based environmental and social impact works undertaken by the NLC included:

» Participation in exploration and auditing activities associated with the Hess Falcon Oil and Gas joint venture at Beetaloo Station near Elliott;

» Participation in exploration and auditing activities associated with the Armour Energy gas exploration near Borroloola;

» On-going participation in cultural heritage management, exploration and auditing activities on a number of minerals exploration licence areas held by BHP Billiton, Cameco and Rio Tinto in Arnhem Land; and

» On-going discussions with government and petroleum companies to optimise business development and training opportunities for Aboriginal people.

As the on-shore petroleum industry continues to grow it is anticipated that the volume and variety of work will increase, hence the need to address proposals as infrastructure develops.

Photo 59: Seismic Exploration Survey on Tanumbirini Station, Borroloola Barkly Region. Photo: supplied by Santos Ltd

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Operating Mines and Infrastructure

Larger operational mines in the NLC’s region include:

» Rio Tinto Alcan Gove - which mines bauxite and produces alumina near Nhulunbuy in north-east Arnhem Land;

» Ranger - which mines and produces uranium near Jabiru in western Arnhem Land;

» Bootu Creek - which mines and produces manganese near Tennant Creek; and

» McArthur River - which mines a complex silver-lead-zinc ore and produces a concentrate near Borroloola.

The NLC also represents traditional owners affected by a number of smaller mines working at various stages of operation. These include:

» Merlin - which produces diamonds near Borroloola;

» Frances Creek - which produces iron ore near Pine Creek; and

» numerous gold producing mines operating along and around Pine Creek.

As a part of its statutory functions, the NLC assumes a responsibility for representing traditional owners who are affected by each mining company’s operations. The degree of representation will vary in accordance with the contents of the agreement and the level of operations being undertaken by the company. Through the reporting period, discharge of this responsibility extended to:

» Continued representation of Mirarr through membership of ARRAC and ARRTC;

» Continued representation of Mirarr on the Ranger and Jabiluka Mine Site

Technical Committees pursuant to the Australian and NT Government Memorandum of Understanding on Uranium Regulations (2005);

» Participation in conjunction with Gumatj and Rirratjingu on the Gove Leaders Forum, pursuant to the 2011 Agreement;

» On-going participation in environmental auditing activities associated with the various smaller mines around the top end of the NT;

» On-going participation in cultural heritage management and auditing activities at OM Holdings’ mine at Bootu Creek; and

» On-going participation in environmental auditing activities associated with the Wadeye to Ban-Ban Springs Bonaparte gas pipeline.

Photo 60: NLC mining staff member, Greg McDonald conducting an environmental audit of R3 Deeps Exploration Decline at Ranger Uranium Mine.

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Mine Closure and Rehabilitation

There is an expectation that the post-project environment will be stable, sustainable and permit future generations of Aboriginal people to access and utilise their traditional lands long after the minerals or energy project is finished. History shows that this has not always been the case, making high quality outcomes for mine closure and rehabilitation projects is an important aim of the NLC’s mining agreements.

Environmental and social impact clauses within these agreements ensure that areas of land that have been affected by mining are rehabilitated to the highest possible standard before they are returned to traditional Aboriginal owners and other stakeholders. As part of its Aboriginal economic development strategy, the NLC seeks outcomes that provide for the active participation of traditional owner generated businesses and land management programmes that operate not only throughout the life of the mine, but well beyond the closure phase.

In the 2012-2013 reporting period, the NLC and traditional owners participated in a number of initiatives related to closure and rehabilitation of mines. These included:

» Promoting the interests of the Mirarr in development of future closure criteria for the Ranger Uranium Mine through ongoing technical meetings with

Energy Resources of Australia and government representative bodies;

» Promoting the interests of the Finniss River Aboriginal Land Trust and the Kungarakan and Warai traditional owners throughout the closure of Newmont base metals mine; and

» Promoting the interests of the Finniss River Aboriginal Land Trust and the Kungarakan and Warai traditional owners as part of the National Partnership Agreement between the Northern Territory and the Australian Government in respect of the Rum Jungle Mine.

Environmental Advice and Representation

Under ALRA and the NTA, the NLC has a responsibility to actively represent and support Aboriginal people by providing sound technical and environmental advice with respect to all mining and petroleum exploration and production activities which may impact on their land. The NLC’s responsibilities include liaising between project developers, government bodies and traditional owners. The NLC may also initiate its own environmental research or investigations to ensure best practice and precautionary principles are considered and implemented.

Photo 61: The audit team inspecting the ventilation shaft at the closed Jabiluka Uranium Mine site.

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Over the course of this reporting period, the NLC represented the traditional owners at a number of scientific and technical forums as listed below. In their own capacity, a number of the traditional owners (or their associations) also participated in these committees and are marked with an arrow:

» The Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee (ARRTC);

» The Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee (ARRAC);

» The Rum Jungle Working Group Committee (RJWG) and its Aboriginal Liaison Committee;

» The Woodcutters Mine Closure Liaison Committee;

» The Bootu Creek Liaison Committee;

• The Uranium Council;

» The Rio Tinto Alcan Leaders Forum;

» The Ranger, Jabiluka and Nabarlek Mine Site Technical Committees (MTCs); and

» Ranger Uranium Mine - A Technical Working Group set up to implement findings of An Independent Surface Water Report (2012) which investigated specific aspects of surface water monitoring at the Ranger Uranium Mine.

The NLC also provided traditional owners with environmental advice and representation in respect of the following proposed major developments:

» The proposed Western Desert Resources Iron Ore mine near Ngukurr (Roper Bar);

» The Sill 80 Ilmenite Project near Katherine;

Photo 62: The Audit team inspecting water management infrastructure at the Ranger Uranium Mine.

» Petroleum exploration at various offshore locations;

» Undersea mining of manganese and other minerals in north east Arnhem Land;

» The Katherine to Gove Gas Pipeline Project;

» Review of the environmental assessment governance in the NT; and

» Review of the Northern Territory Petroleum Act and Regulations;

Photo 63: Western Desert Resources constructing the new loading facility at Bing Bong Port near Borroloola. Photo: Pam Dickenson

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During the 2011-12 reporting period, NLC undertook a major study into the potential environmental impacts associated with unconventional petroleum exploration and production techniques such as ‘hydraulic fracturing’ increasingly used to recover oil and gas from the ground. Currently, there are potential environmental issues which are of significant concern to the traditional owners and the public in general. Some of these concerns relate to the improved well integrity, certification and increased monitoring of wells to ensure the highest protection to ground and other potable water sources.

At present, the NLC continues to refine the information presented to the traditional owners on these unconventional and other petroleum exploration and production techniques so that traditional owners can make an ‘informed decision’ under Part IV of ALRA in relation to the petroleum exploration applications that are presented to them.

NLC continues to liaise with government, industry representative groups and non-governmental organisations to push for strong and effective regulation of the petroleum industry.

Industry Conferences and Professional Training

The NLC continues to seek initiatives to improve participation in the minerals and petroleum industry while dealing with the development of resources and infrastructure proposals received by the mining companies and the NTG.

The NLC aims to maintain a competitive edge by acquiring a thorough understanding of industry developments and also by investing in professional staff development and training to achieve successful outcomes. The participation at industry conferences and targeted training through related networks are positive investments towards achieving NLC’s objectives and outcomes.

During this reporting period, staff attended industry specific forums and training seminars that helped establish networks with project developers and the NTG.

» 6th International Mine Closure Conference;

» 1st International Conference on Social Responsibility in Mining;

» 2012 Native Title Conference

» 2012 Annual Geological Exploration Seminar (AGES)

» 32nd Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment

» NT Mining Conference

» 2013 AusIMM International Uranium Conference

» Environmental Auditor Certification;

» Exploration, Mining and Processing Fundamentals; and

» Petroleum Fundamentals

The NLC is continuing to develop its understanding of the resources industry and future infrastructure development proposal, particularly those related to onshore oil and gas and the associated infrastructure developments.

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0+28+56+12+4 Challenges

There are some factors beyond this organisation’s control and the principal contributors include:

» competing priorities;

» departure of key staff;

» recruitment and induction of new staff;

» the availability of consultants during peak work periods;

» risks associated with undertaking large meetings where numerous resource exploration or development projects are to be discussed.

Figure 6: 5 Year Trend—Consultations Substantially Arranged but Postponed 2008-13

Outcome

Overall the total number of postponed meetings remained the same as the last reporting period. Although meetings cancelled by the company or NLC had reduced significantly, external factors were the prominent reason for postponement. Measuring our progress against the target of 20 meetings shows a significant decrease over time in the number of meetings held with key stakeholders due mainly to rationalisation of finances and priorities with the resources sector. There has been a gradual increase in the number on-country petroleum and native tile related mining meetings.

25

20

15

10

5

0

72+60+36+12+44 88+48+24+48+242008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Postponed—Explorer’s Request

Postponed—External Factors

Postponed—NLC Co-ordination difficulties

Consultations Substantially Arranged but Postponed 2008-2013

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220

200

180

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

60+69+73+72+97 44+46+33+12+4 Figure 7: 5 Year Trend 2008-13: Measuring our Progress against the 20 meetings target 2012-13.

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

Target for Stakeholder Scheduling Meetings

Scheduling Meetings with Key Stakeholders

Consultations Held with Traditional Aboriginal Owners

Progress against the 20 meetings target

Note: Scheduling meetings with key stakeholders refers to meetings with Department of Mines & Energy. Industry meeting figures was not available at time of printing.

9+9+9+9+9

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Commercial Development Objective: Empower Aboriginal people to carry out commercial activities and build sustainable enterprises.

Economic development provides the foundation for genuine opportunities for Aboriginal peoples. Section 23(1)(ea) of the ALRA empowers the NLC to assist Aboriginal people in the area of the NLC to carry out commercial activities, provided that the NLC itself does not profit from the activities.

Presently Aboriginal people in the NLC region suffer high levels of disadvantage in comparison to other Australian states and territories, a position which is not likely to change without long term strategic investment.

The NLC is a key agency in facilitating economic development on Aboriginal lands, holding statutory responsibility for facilitating economic activity on more than 210,000km2 of the land mass of the NT, and approximately 85% of the coastline. Through its Economic Development Program, the NLC assists interested traditional owners to use their land assets to create investments, businesses and employment opportunities. This is a lengthy and challenging task, requiring a sustained effort and a strong commitment to assisting traditional owners to make their own decisions about their land and waters.

The NLC faces many challenges in building sustainable enterprises on Aboriginal land. Almost all former reserve land and land obtained under the ALRA has low commercial productivity for purposes other than mining due to geographic remoteness from major trading centres, poor essential service infrastructure and/or poor soils and rainfall. The main exceptions are areas on which minerals have been found, and increasingly, where scenic or experiential tourism can exist.

Despite this, economic opportunities do exist for Aboriginal peoples on Aboriginal land. As populations increase, small to mid-size food and retail operators increasingly see Aboriginal communities as attractive revenue bases. Tourist operators are also becoming increasingly interested in accessing Aboriginal land, as are a range of industries from horticulture to agri-forestry and pastoral. The growing conservation industry also provides real opportunities for Aboriginal enterprises. With the High Court decision of Blue Mud Bay, entry into the commercial fishing industry has become a realistic future commercial and economic opportunity.

The long-term focus is on developing the capacity of traditional owners:

» to participate in the mainstream economy;

» to take advantage of commercial opportunities arising from developments on Aboriginal land; and

» to develop long-term sustainable Aboriginal enterprises.

The existing cattle stations, timber works, aquaculture projects, feral animal harvesting, CO2 abatement programmes, mining operations, railways, pipelines, gas and major infrastructure facilities throughout the NT are proof that the NLC is making progress in this important output area. The additional funding resource has enabled the organisation to deliver long-term targeted commercial assistance programmes. At the same time has had a significant impact upon the success of Australian Government and NTG initiatives in the key area of economic development.

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Scoping Regional Economic Opportunity

This project was possible through an ABA funded scoping study project that allowed Centrefarm under the TopEndFarm brand name to prepare a feasibility study for horticulture operations at Wudjuli Lagoon. Traditional owners and custodians of Wudjuli Lagoon requested assistance in planning the development of a horticultural operation utilising the lagoon as an irrigation storage facility.

The proposal put forward by the traditional owners was to develop the site of the old mission garden, located on higher ground immediately to the north of the lagoon and 3km east of Ngukurr township, and to top the lagoon up with water pumped from the river, approximately one kilometre south of the lagoon.

Consultation on this proposal was undertaken with traditional owners, custodians and community members from Ngukurr, as well as with experts in horticulture, environmental management, water resource management, hydrogeology, geology, agriculture, geomorphology and physical geography; and with representatives from the Power and Water Authority and the NT Environment Centre. Advice was also been obtained from the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, the Northern Land Council and from legal practitioners.

Water from the lagoon and river and soil samples from the proposed site were analysed, and crops choices made on the basis of their suitability for the climate, soils and water available, and their ability to meet market demand.

Photo 64: Soil sampling at the Ngukurr site.

Photo 65: Soil samples ready for laboratory testing.

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An indicative budget for a 97 hectare horticultural operation was prepared. It ensures a balance between crops that return a profit quickly but are less valuable (cash crops), and crops which take some years to mature but which are more valuable (semi-perennial and perennial crops). Consideration was also given to whether the crop can be transported to the market quickly, safely and cost-effectively. These considerations resulted in the choice of the following crops: cucumber, snake beans, sweet potato, banana, passionfruit, pineapple, and coffee (Robusta).

Research: Indigenous Aquaculture

This report extract and photos were provided by the Aquaculture Branch of the NTG’s Fisheries Division who have led aquaculture research work in partnership with communities and external facilitators to develop and manage marine-based enterprises. Trials continued on Goulburn Island, Tiwi Islands and Groote Eylandt, including fishing, sandfish (Holothuria scabra) ranching, oyster farming, oyster wild harvest and giant clam farming.

Trepang Ranching Proving Positive

This year’s research on trepang at Little Lagoon, Groote Eylandt and Wigu Point, Goulburn Island has consolidated our understanding of the opportunities and challenges of trepang ranching. Good growth rates and survival estimates have shown the biological viability of trepang ranching and better juveniles release methods have improved the survival of the very young trepang during their first days at sea.

The challenge now is to guide enterprise development to maximise employment opportunities for local people through the use of their sea country assets. Employment can be gained through the farming and processing of trepang, but harvesting the product by

Photo 66: Trepang researcher Andrea Birch from the Aquaculture Branch, NTG helped by CDEP aquaculture workers, pouring young trepang down a chute to the sea floor.

diving is not desirable for most. This limits harvesting to infrequent extreme low tides and to inshore sites close to the coast. Work is underway at Groote Eylandt to trial a scoop-like harvesting device towed from a boat, which may allow access to deeper ranching sites and harvesting throughout the year.

Traditional owners from Goulburn Island visited the seafood processing facility at Umbakumba Bay, which is collaboration between the Aminjarrinja Aboriginal Corporation and Tasmanian Seafoods Pty Ltd. Both trepang and fish will be processed, as seasonal availability demands. Will Bowman of Tasmanian Seafoods is optimistic for the future of the enterprise, ‘If our projections are correct we will harvest 10 tonnes of trepang over the year, which will be a great result, especially as we have a strong market ready and waiting in China.’

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Viability of Shellfish Farming

The grow out trials done on black lip tropical oyster on both Goulburn Island and Tiwi Islands have identified the most suitable sites, grow out structures and management methods for remote communities. Initially oysters were held in baskets secured to racks on the sea floor just offshore. But the limited access for maintenance and monitoring led to a floating system that can be maintained any time from a boat. Growth and fouling of the shell varied between sites at Goulburn, indicating some sites are more suitable than others.

Photo 67: Blacklip edible oysters grew well at Maldbark Bay, Goulburn Island after 7 months at sea. Note how clean the shells are.

Photo 68: Floating oyster baskets can be easily accessed from a boat at any time.

Shellfish can accumulate toxic substances from the seawater that can make consumers ill, such as bacteria, toxic algae and heavy metals, and so farmers must monitor these to minimise the risk to human health. A joint program between CDU and NTG began in the wet season of 2012 at Goulburn Island to test the heavy metal content of oysters at different sites and seasons. This work will be expanded to other substances to establish an appropriate quality assurance program based on health risks.

Social research program seeks to improve government approach

Social research, in partnership with CDU and other universities, continues to be a strong focus of the enterprise work of the Aquaculture Branch. ‘We are keen to influence change in government policy-making, ensure policy directions recognise and incorporate culture more actively, and recognises and embeds traditional knowledge in development programmes’, says Dr Ann Fleming, Manager of the Aquaculture Branch. ‘This will bring Indigenous perspectives into decision-making processes for fisheries enterprise development and so ensure success in economic development programmes.’

Three social research projects were initiated in early 2013 in partnership with NTG’s Aquaculture Branch, CDU’s The Northern Institute and Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, and the Warruwi community at Goulburn Island.

One project aims to work with the Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation of Goulburn Island to develop a fisheries development plan, and associated governance arrangements, business plans and infrastructure funding strategies, for their marine-based enterprises. Another projects aims to work with the Warruwi women of Goulburn Island to assist them establish a Healthy Tucker Program and in doing so document the appropriate cross-cultural negotiation processes between local people and external facilitators.

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The third project plans to integrate traditional and western knowledge on shellfish healthy harvesting times and practices and present these in map and seasonal calendar formats.

Photo 69: Warruwi women planning their Healthy Tucker Programme, supported by The Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University.

Outcome

The NLC took the initiative to engage Centrefarm to undertake a scoping study to gauge economic opportunities based on a thorough resource assessment data in the Ngukurr and Numbulwar area. This data was used to inform a feasibility study to assess the commercial viability and sustainability of horticulture ideas. The next stage is to seek funding to develop a detailed business plan and seed funding. Yugal Mangi Aboriginal

Corporation provides a good governance model and it is anticipated that the traditional owners will seek an s19 ALRA land use agreement with the option to sub lease areas.

To date scoping studies were completed for Victoria River District, Borroloola and the Katherine region. The remaining regions of West and East Arnhem Land and Darwin Daly Wagait are expected to be completed by mid 2014.

These above case studies demonstrate community based research that engages with and is led by Aboriginal people is a successful model for building capacity and exploring sustainable economic opportunities.

Advocacy Services

Photo 70: Collection of promotional materials to raise awareness and education.

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Public Awareness and Education Objective: Advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people and express their views.

Increasing public awareness of the work of the NLC and the policies and views of Aboriginal people of the region is one of the NLC’s core responsibilities under the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 as well as the Native Title Act 1993.

The NLC produces a wide range of information and educational resources.

The media unit deals with large volumes of enquiries from both the Australian and international media and also produces Land Rights News—Northern Edition.

Achievements

The production of Land Rights News—Northern Edition, continues the tradition of Australia’s longest running Aboriginal newspaper, the first of which was published in 1977.

Three 24 page editions were produced this year in August 2012, January 2013 and June 2013. Because the Northern Edition mainly focuses on the Top End news items, the newspaper circulation was decreased to 10,000 and these are distributed free to communities. Interest from interstate and international paid subscriptions remains positive.

Each edition provides public awareness and covers interest areas from land management, court decisions, proposed developments, to music and sport from across the NLC area.

The NLC’s media unit released several media statements to a range of media organisations across various platforms informing them of and clarifying our position to such media outlets including the National Indigenous

Radio Service, Koori Mail, National Indigenous Times, national broadcaster ABC, NT News and Fairfax Media. Each of these press releases are uploaded and available through our website.

In-depth interviews were also held with agents from Australian Geographic, and ABC Darwin’s 7.30 NT on subjects ranging from the 1963 Yolgnu Bark Petition, Full Council Meeting outcomes, the court decision about sacred site desecration at Bootu Creek, the Coalition’s pre-election statement on developing the NT and accepted protocols of identifying deceased people.

Our media unit has also represented the organisation on the show circuit including at Barunga Festival, Bark Petition 50th Year Anniversary at Yirrkala, the Katherine Show, Warruwi Festival and various NAIDOC events.

We again had a range of corporate branded merchandise produced which included special commemoration caps and bucket hats, bags, stickers, pencils, mini flags and mini footballs which have proved immensely popular. This has been a positive way of raising the NLC’s profile.

Media related permit requests increased during the ‘dry’ season including international media interests from Japan, northern Europe and the United Kingdom, together with Australian based independent and traditional media.

Permission to film and photograph landscapes and interview members of the local communities is considered by traditional Aboriginal owners. Where these are commercial in nature, agreements are negotiated.

Outcome

NLC’S website, www.nlc.org.au , is updated continuously and features several new stories and publications available for download.

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Advocacy and Representation Objective: Raise public awareness of the NLC’s work and the views of Aboriginal people.

The NLC has a statutory responsibility to ascertain, express and represent the wishes and opinions of the Aboriginal people of the Top End and as a result, it has a significant advocacy role at the regional, national and international level. To fulfil this function, the NLC must identify issues that affect Aboriginal people and advocate for appropriate legislative and policy responses. The NLC makes submissions and representations to the NTG and Australian Government, participates in national and international forums and debates, and monitors issues of importance to Aboriginal people. Industry groups and experts are also invited to make presentations about their organisation and to participate in question and answer time at council meetings.

Photo 71: NT Seafood Council presented to the November 2012 Full Council Meeting on the commercial fishing industry.

Representation To achieve its objective of increasing the participation of Aboriginal people in the social, political and economic life of the NT, the NLC aims to ensure that the views and interests of Aboriginal people are being communicated to decision-makers in an effective and timely manner. The NLC’s Council Meetings are the primary forum for Council Members to express their views and interests.

Following the 2007-2008 reporting period, the distribution of meetings of both Executive and Regional Council Meetings changed. Since then the schedule of facilitating at least 2 Full Councils, 4 Executive Council and 2 Regional Council meetings has been consistent. Please refer to page 46-49 for details on Full, Executive and Regional Council meetings this reporting period.

Strengthening Full Council The Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer recognised that within the 83 Council Members there is a wide range of skills, knowledge and experiences that could be utilised to strengthen and enhance the Northern Land Council’s representation on various Boards and Committees (refer to p180). This idea was first raised at the 101st Full Council Meeting at Crab Claw in November 2010 and progressively discussed, debated and developed throughout 2011.

The new policy objective was to broaden the overall social, cultural, economic and political views and aspirations of traditional owners, both male and female, through their Full Council Membership.

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Following a Full Council Meeting resolution the Aboriginals Benefit Account Advisory Committee is now made up of the:

a) Chairperson,

b) three male Council Members and

c) three female Council Members

Alliances The NLC is active in communicating the views of traditional Aboriginal owners to governments and other stakeholders. Where the NLC is most effective is through alliances with APO NT and North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) which participated in many community forums and formally submitted responses to government policy or programmes.

Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory

The Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory is an alliance comprising the Northern Land Council, Central Land Council, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA), Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT). The alliance seeks to provide a more effective response to key issues of joint interest and concern affecting Aboriginal people in the NT, including through advocating practical policy solutions to government.

APO NT is committed to increasing Aboriginal involvement in policy development and implementation, and to expanding opportunities for Aboriginal community control. APO NT also seeks to strengthen networks between peak Aboriginal organisations and smaller regional Aboriginal organisations in the NT.

APO NT is not incorporated, but governed by the Chief Executive Officers of member organisations, with day-to-day activities co-ordinated through an officers group drawn from each organisation and supported by a Policy Officer who is funded by the Fred Hollows Foundation.

APO NT is seen as an alternate key advocacy platform and during the reporting period focused on a number of pressing issues affecting Aboriginal people. This included drafting briefing papers, formal submissions, funding proposals and holding forum workshops.

The Stronger Futures and related Bills created much anxiety in communities and affected Aboriginal organisations. APO NT continues to engage with Australian Government Officers of FaHCSIA, DEEWR, Attorney-General’s Department and Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health to better understand and monitor the roll out of the Stronger Futures package. For example, with funding from FaHCSIA, APONT convened a number of strategic forums to engage Aboriginal people and the outcomes provide a foundation for APONT advocacy and building networks.

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Grog Summit

In Darwin on 16 November 2012 a Grog in the Territory Summit on government alcohol policy and its impact on Aboriginal people and communities was facilitated by APONT. Approximately 150 people attended from all over the NT and from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia to present or listen to presentations from community, Aboriginal controlled organisations and other experts.

The forum recognised the effects of grog on health, family and community violence and encounters with the justice and prison systems. Key messages were delivered to all levels of government on the need to listen to the people and listen to the evidence. An important part of the solution outcome is to involve Aboriginal people in all levels of decision making regarding alcohol policy, program development and resourcing in the NT. Recognising that a bipartisan approach is required, a number of action resolutions were recorded so that communities could follow up and take action themselves - for example, developing their own alcohol management plans under the Stronger Futures program.

Aboriginal Governance

The second forum was an Aboriginal governance summit in Tennant Creek over the 18th and 19th of April 2013 to better understand and get views from Aboriginal people and their organisations of lessons learnt and future directions and actions that could advocate Aboriginal governance initiatives and outcomes. Workshop breakouts provided opportunities to discuss and analyse important themes, to suggest recommendations and express comments back to the wider forum.

On challenges that Aboriginal organisations face and how they were overcome, Council Member Helen Williams said of her local organisation:

Photo 72: NLC Council Members travelled to Tennant Creek to have their say in developing appropriate governance strategies.

“We had bad management and fights. So we changed the constitution to make better rules and keep things going properly.”

On men’s law and culture, NLC Chairman Wali Wunungmurra referred to the Central Australian word for Aboriginal law, Tjurrkurpa.

“It holds the constitutional law for our lands, our rights. We want recognition rights for that governance. Tjurrkurpa gives us self-determination on the land and that’s how we learnt and get our leadership role… Law will protect people for the rest of their lives. Whether we like it or not we have to live by it. Law tells who I am, what I am, and what I can do. Don’t pretend to be someone else.”

Alliance readings including Grog in the Territory Summit Outcomes, Strong Aboriginal Governance Summit Report: http://www.nlc.org.au/ http://apont.org.au/ http://www.nailsma.org.au/

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Outcome

NLC’s support and presence at forums has lifted its public profile by influencing people’s understanding of its legislative responsibility and as the peak Aboriginal representative body in the top end of the Northern Territory.

Attendance at the annual show circuit and cultural festivals also educates and informs public perceptions on the role of the Council and its achievements and also helps build relationships with industry and media outlets.

Twenty seven NLC Council Meetings were held this reporting period. These were either Full Council, Executive and Regional Council Meetings.

A number of key summits were held to allow Aboriginal people to express their concerns and aspirations in an attempt to inform, participate and direct policy making of Aboriginal issues.

Photo 73: The Arafura wetlands is where the Central Arnhem Regional Anthropologist gets to work, alongside traditional owners and custodians.

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Cultural and Heritage Support Objective: Supporting Aboriginal people to maintain and protect their sacred sites and cultural heritage.

The granting of land rights to Aboriginal people not only recognised the justice of their prior claims to ownership, it also recognised the validity of Aboriginal traditional law and cultural values.

Aboriginal law is an integral and inseparable part of Aboriginal culture. It is as important to Aboriginal people as their traditional lands and heritage. Despite public perception, it is not primarily about criminal punishment or the rights of individuals. According to Justice Blackburn, who heard the Gove Land Rights case in 1971, it is:

“A subtle and elaborate system highly adapted to the country in which the people lead their lives, which provided a stable order of society and was remarkably free from the vagaries of personal whim or influence … a government of laws, and not of men” —Justice Blackburn, Gove Land Rights Case, 1971.

Aboriginal law derives its authenticity from the actual social practices of Aboriginal communities and owes nothing to the reasoning of lawyers, the decisions of parliament, or the rulings of courts. The fact of life for many Aboriginal people in the NT, and for all Aboriginal people in Aboriginal communities, is that traditional law is the governing force of their daily lives.

Among other things these laws include those involving traditional land ownership and norms governing land use.

Not surprisingly, supporting Aboriginal Law and associated cultural values is considered to be among the most important roles of the NLC. The documentation for sacred sites, Dreaming tracks and significant places such as painted shelters and rock engraving sites is one of the major works undertaken by the anthropology branch each year and involves a coordinated approach by professional, regional, logistic and mapping GIS staff. Over the past year there have been a number of major projects of this nature.

Formal Advice on Traditional Ownership

The identity and nature of any traditional Aboriginal land owning group is contained within Aboriginal Law. The ALRA makes the effort to capture this when it defines traditional owners as being “a local descent group” of Aboriginals who have common affiliations to a site(s) on or near the land that gives the particular group the “primary spiritual responsibility” for the site(s) and associated land. In addition they are the group that, by Aboriginal tradition, are entitled to forage, “as a right” over it. The definition can be found in Section 3 (1) of the ALRA. The Native Title Act in its Section 223 discusses the concept of a native title holder, being Aboriginal people who by “laws and customs” have a connection with some particular land or waters.

Because the requirement to identify the appropriate people and groups for some country is basic to both traditional Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal law, the NLC seeks at all times to be thorough and professional in its research to identify and document them. This is central to the anthropology branch’s work.

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The branch has a number of trained anthropologists each of whom covers a specific region. These have been chosen to reflect underlying Aboriginal societies and cultural regions and a number of branch staff members are based in their region and work from a local office. All of the staff are experienced in anthropological fieldwork and recording. Other duties cover office logistics, mapping GIS and curating, support anthropology staff. As required from time to time consultant anthropologists are engaged. These are usually highly qualified persons with a good deal of experience with an area and group of people including formal publications. Often they are academics whose knowledge and background affords learning and training opportunities to staff. Most give presentations to the NLC on their work.

The advice prepared by the regional anthropologists that identifies traditional owners and released to the other branches is used for a wide variety of purposes including land and native title claims, consultations with clients for mining, other projects and s19 ALRA proposals and developments.

Land Interest Reference Report

Land Interest References (LIRs) are registered each year for those with an interest in using any Aboriginal land or waters. All requests are recorded and processed, and the table below provides a breakdown of activities.

Activity Pro Pos Al Number of

requests

Communities 38

Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) 2

Land Claims 1

Mining 82

National Parks 11

Native Title - Land 2

Native Title - Sea 14

Pastoral; Land, Sea & Natural Resource Management

61

Research 11

Tourism 13

Utilities 18

Other 15

tot Al 268

Table 8: Registered land interest references released by activity.

Land Interest References

500

450

400

350

300

250

200

150

100

50

0

Figure 8: 5 Year Trend 2007-12— Annual total of requests made for LIRs.

63+85+92+60+542008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

Outcomes

A total of 271 requests were lodged, with 268 significant releases completed this financial year, although this is a decrease compared to previous year it does not represent the complexity and sensitivity of the research required in compiling the land interest references.

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Database Report The anthropology branch is required to identify and give advice to the wider organisation on traditional Aboriginal land ownership and other cultural matters and has been researching this since the 1970s. The result of this now comprises collections of over 20,000 documents, maps, videos, name lists, audio tapes and other material, and continues to grow. Many of these are significant items from land claims, surveys oral histories by deceased elders and the like.

During this reporting period 3,201 new documents were submitted to the LIR, each requiring geographic and ethnographic indexing, a considerable administration overhead for the branch.

Since 2006 the anthropology branch has designed and implemented enterprise database management systems to support growing demand on research outputs. Central to this has been the development of the digital LIR. This is a database solution that stores documents and maps electronically, with a full text index on the documents stored within it (such as adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel etc). The full text index allows users to search the textual content of any document, but in conjunction with other database search filters such as map sheet numbers, author and document type.

A major obstacle is that many documents are held as hardcopies, thus an ongoing task over the last few years has been the scanning and optical character recognition of hardcopy documents. Approximately 66% of the LIR now exists in electronic format, which is an increase of 7% from the previous year.

Figure 9: Full text search interface.

Another obstacle is that many maps are larger than the normal scanner capability. In March 2013 a large A0 size scanner was purchased to overcome problems of scanning capabilities with current equipment. Now 66 maps exist in electronic format.

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GIS Section Introduction and Outputs

The NLC has a four-person team running its Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS is computer based, using ESRI ArcGIS desktop software as well as server technology which provide mapping technology to NLC staff via the NLC intranet. The primary outputs of the NLC GIS are cartographic (map production). The workload is managed using database technology with a web interface for making map requests and managing jobs. The GIS section is part of the anthropology branch, however provides a services to the entire organisation.

LIR Digitisation Report

Figure 10: The LIR is geographically referenced by the 1:100,000 scale topographic map sheet, which provides quick direction to relevant ethnographic material.

800

780

760

740

720

700

680

660

640

620

39+57+36+862010 2011 2012 2013The GIS team completed some major cartographic works this financial year. Particularly the Group 6 and Group 8 native title claim mapping, which represents a significant proportion of the NLC’s area of responsibility (54,000 square kilometres, roughly 10% or a little smaller than Tasmania) refer to figure 10. This mapping task was undertaken initially through data compilation of existing ethnographic reports and maps of the claim areas and then with anthropologists from the NLC who conducted widespread field consultations to ensure completeness and accuracy of the information. This task has resulted in a very well researched and consistent GIS dataset of indigenous land interest for these areas, which can be reliably drawn upon for future consultations. Further in this work, the group 1 and group 9 native title claim mapping has also been initiated. On completion of this work, we will have expanded our dataset to 20% of the NLC’s area of responsibility—roughly 120,000 square kilometres. Mapping Workload 2010-2013

Figure 11: GIS Mapping Workload

Completed Jobs

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Other major mapping projects include the Pacific Aluminium gas pipeline route, s19 ALRA land use leasing in major communities, as well as data compilation for petroleum exploration in the top end.

Outcome

In this reporting period the work volume was up slightly on previous years because of native title and major project works.

Map 13: Significant GIS Mapping Projects

Sea Rights Although called the Northern Land Council, the NLC has, since its early days known that many Aboriginal people in our region consider their ‘country’ to include islands, reefs, sand banks and even their associated sea beds and tides as well. The possibility of pursuing sea rights however had to await the passage of the Native Title Act in 1993. Among the first made on behalf of Aboriginal people by the NLC was Yamirr vs The Northern Territory (decision in 2001) involving sea country in the Arafura Sea near Croker Island. The court found that the applicants held non-exclusive native title in the area. The Wellesley Island Native Title application by Lardil people in Queensland not far from the Territory border produced essentially the same result.

In 2002 the NLC began Gumana vs The Northern Territory, now commonly called the ‘Blue Mud Bay case’ that, while eventually successful through appeals in 2008 was restricted in application to the intertidal zone. (Which was found to be part of any adjacent Aboriginal Land Trust and hence comes under the same regime with regard to permissions and permits etc.) The traditional owners and the NLC have maintained a moratorium on applying this regime while extensive and detailed consultations and discussions between the Territory Government and land owners have taken place.

Significant anthropological studies have been carried out for these matters, and the NLC now has detailed ethnographic data on clans, boundaries, sites, dreamings and song lines in the sea. While similar to work on land in many ways, working on the sea where boats, tides and weather are all important has been a challenge. Over the past year the NLC has been working with colleagues and traditional owners from the Anindilyakwa Land Council documenting interests and relevant material for lodging an application for the recognition of native title rights in sea country in the Numbulwar-Groote Eylandt region.

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Funeral and Ceremonial Fund The NLC administers a Funeral and Ceremonial grant fund from the Aboriginals Benefit Account which is managed by the then Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Department. The Full Council recognises the increasing costs of charters, freight and coffin costs and the funeral and ceremonial policy enables traditional owners to apply for assistance to conduct funerals and ceremonies on their land. This is an integral aspect of cultural and heritage protection in the NLC’s region.

The NLC maintains its policy of no cash payments. No cigarettes, no alcohol or personal items are to be purchased.

The table below provides a breakdown by region of the number of approved applications for the funeral and ceremonial assistance and compared to last year, there was a slight decrease in applications received. An explanation for this is because NLC changed its assistance policy eliminating requests for ceremonies related to an actual funeral burial. This was necessary for financial budget management reasons.

buri Al ceremo Ny tot Al

Per

r egioN

Borroloola Barkly 25 4 29

Darwin Daly Wagait 68 12 80

East Arnhem 54 19 73

Katherine 28 8 36

Ngukurr Numbulwar 18 5 23

Tennant Creek 7 2 9

Victoria River District 10 4 14

West Arnhem 78 16 94

total 288 70 358

Table 9: Burial & Ceremony Applications by Region 2012-13

Outcome

NLC continues to follow policy guidelines in an effort to assist aggrieved families by liaising sensitively with funeral parlours, hospital, coroners, service providers and applicants.

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Photo 74: Christopher Galaminda (Danek), Bill Risk (Larrakia), Carol Christophersen (Murran), Stewart Gardel (Mirrar), Australian Consulate Staff and Thomas Amagula (Anindilyakwa) travelled to Brno in the Czech Republic to repatriate human remains on behalf of traditional owners, custodians and NLC.

Repatriation of Ancestral Remains and Significant Cultural Items

Repatriation and Museum Visits NLC Council Members have expressed their concerns at various forums that the history of Aboriginal Australia is not very well known. Members also wanted to expand their understanding of Aboriginal history and connection to Australia, as the original people.

The Executive Council were keen to provide the wider community with more opportunities to learn and participate in Aboriginal culture.

In February 2013, they undertook a number of museum visits and contributed to the discussion by offering their observations,

experiences and their hopes for sharing of knowledge was of interest to the museums visited. The Chairman offered congratulations and support to the museums for continuing their work on this important issue and building relationships with people of the NLC region.

The Executive Members were encouraged and inspired by the generosity and friendship extended by the museums. The museums reaffirmed their passion and real commitment for ensuring the NT people are able to realise repatriation with the support and leadership of the Northern Land Council.

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The museums agreed that they would observe a request by the Executive that as a matter of courtesy, and soon to be policy, all future repatriation work is directed in the first instance to the attention of the NLC and they look forward to the new relationship from the visit.

Museums extended invitations of future visits and requests for information of the collections and will do all they can to assist with these enquiries.

Museum Victoria, Melbourne

On 4 February 2013 Executive Council Members and support staff visited the Museum Victoria and commenced talks with key staff about repatriation of artefacts and human remains.

The museum was encouraged that NLC was taking the first step toward formalising a process for repatriation by developing a policy. Discussion also covered the museum’s responsibility to engage with traditional owners around repatriation matters and their funding. Executive pointed out that it is the NLC’s role and responsibility to ensure the right people are being engaged and consulted, and advised that NLC can assist and guide the process of repatriation and offered support and assistance.

Photo 75: Council Members were supported by relevant NLC staff to meet Museum Staff at Museum Victoria, Mcleay and Australian Museums.

Australian Museum, Sydney

After introductions, Australian Museum staff guided Council Members through the collections and behind the scenes where councillors found artefacts that originated from each of their regions and or family members. Dhuwarrwarr Marika, East Arnhem Executive Member, was thrilled to find particular pieces of art created by her father and family. She took the opportunity to film and record information and stories to enhance the museum record.

NLC continues to work with the Australian Museum to repatriate sacred secret objects and also human remains. This collaborative approach will be used as a model for future repatriation returns and the museum is happy to work with NLC to develop best practices.

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Mcleay Museum, Sydney

Although this Museum is small in comparison to other museums it holds significant collections. It has a 50,000 strong collection of photographs, many artefacts and also human remains.

Anthropologists also deposit notes, photos and other material information with this Museum, which are digitised and subject to access conditions, could be available to NLC and traditional owners. The digitisation process is slowly progressing and members were interested to hear about the process and viewed many photographs from the NT e.g. Roper River and Yirrkala.

Photo 76: Dhuwarrarr Marika, East Arnhem Executive Council Member, standing proudly behind her father’s painting.

The NLC group saw some of the 180 artefacts that were collected from the NT by Ronald Berndt during his work through the Sydney University. Mcleay have offered their services to search their collections for photographs and artefacts from areas in the NT.

Outcome

The benefits of this face to face visit was ground breaking in terms of understanding each other’s organisational structure and responsibilities and exploring common interest in repatriation, exhibitions, collections, conservation and research sharing.

Maintaining a working relationship with museums is beneficial to all in terms of enhancing and preserving cultural and heritage records.

Through developing a Repatriation Policy clear administrative guidelines will bring efficiencies to the organisations. Traditional owners and / or custodians are at the forefront and will naturally guide the actual repatriation and events on country.

As an indication of immediate and ongoing work in 2013, repatriations from the Australian Museum occurred at Yirrkala and at Ramingining through Museum Victoria.

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Community Development Support Objective: Help Aboriginal people achieve their development potential by facilitating access to leadership and governance programmes, and resources, infrastructure and government services.

Aboriginal people in the NLC region suffer high levels of disadvantage when compared with other Australian states and territories, a factor which is not likely to change without long-term strategic investment in Aboriginal leadership and governance.

In line with its statutory functions, a strategic focus of the NLC’s community development support output is leadership and governance. The NLC provides training and development opportunities for traditional owners to foster good governance and strong leadership, which underpin sound decision-making and stronger communities. This training and development enables traditional owners to articulate their ideas, identify goals, develop strategies and negotiate effectively with stakeholders.

The NLC seeks to foster leadership and governance by:

» Acknowledging and fostering existing Aboriginal leadership structures and cultural practices;

» Equipping Aboriginal people with the skills needed to participate in social, political and economic life.

Leadership The NLC ensures that Council Members are supported to develop a vision for the future and encourages them to engage in planning to achieve that vision. Workshops were held with members to develop the next Strategic Plan. The completion date has been extended to allow staff input and is expected to be

redrafted and presented to the next Full Council Meeting in the 2013-14 reporting period.

Northern Land Council Executive Council Members, as Directors, currently sit on three key external boards, the Aboriginals Benefit Account Advisory Committee, the Aboriginal Investment Group and the Imparja Board. The NLC ensures Council Members are aware of any potential leadership opportunities, challenges and barriers as they arise.

Women’s Law and Culture Gathering September 2012

Women’s law and culture gatherings in Central Australia have been attended by Top End women for a number of consecutive years. Again, senior Aboriginal female staff were instrumental in facilitating and supporting the attendance of women from remote areas within its jurisdiction. It is acknowledged that the social, cultural and wellbeing outcomes that Aboriginal women experience from participating in these law and cultural gatherings have broader beneficial outcomes. In particular the leadership shown by the host community in sharing their country, their culture including mentoring of younger women will sustain stronger women and families into the future.

Alyawarre women from Utopia hosted the 2012 gathering; this was significant to those elders as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first invitation to other ladies to participate in law and culture in Central Australia.

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Just over 120 women attended from the NLC regions including Ramingining and Yirrkala; Yarralin and Timber Creek; Gunbalanya and outstations; Borroloola and outstations; Larrakia and Ngukurr.

Each year the number of women attending from across NLC regions has increased considerably. In 2010 about 40 women attended for the first time, increasing to 80 in 2011.

NLC submitted a submission for funding from ABA to assist with travel and accommodation to and from the camp area, with majority of women opting to drive with NLC staff or in their own vehicles. Women travelled over 1,400 kilometres each way to attend.

The ladies from Timber Creek nominated to host the next Women’s Law and Culture, however the senior Law women from Central Australia were concerned about the vast distance they would have to drive and that their health may not hold up. Each year we have noticed senior law women not there and how much their departure affects the future of our women’s law. Our young women are our future they should be encouraged to attend and get an understanding of senior Aboriginal women’s knowledge and law without outside influences.

Invited ladies are humbled by the opportunity to share aspects of ceremonies and stories and show respect for the leadership displayed by the hosting ladies. This is clearly articulated in the following feedback from women who attended:

“We took our young women, the elders from Central Australia was happy that they attended and shared our song and dance. Our women appreciated the discipline of having to get up early in the cold each morning to rub the sticks, listen to others sing corroboree and dance from their country.

We have a women’s dreaming place within the…, this trip to Utopia has empowered and reignited our senior Law women to take our young women and show them dance & songs before they pass on.”

“I sat with the women that attended from West Arnhem - they were in awe of the strong culture, stories and dance and again were surprised at how strong the culture is in the Central Desert - they said it made them feel strong about going home to their own community and working on making their culture strong again. They also said it was different from the Top End. They want to attend next year’s conference.”

The meeting was very special for my mother, daughters and myself because it was our very first attendance at a Combined Women’s Law and Culture meeting. The fact that it was hosted by Alyawarre women and it was the 20th Anniversary of Women’s Law and Culture meetings made it a very significant occasion. The wonderful experience we had will forever remain in our hearts because it is instilled in us an immense pride in our culture. Such annual events are very important for our women and it is hoped that there will be many more meetings in the future. My mother, my daughters and I look forward to the next combined meeting at Papunya in 2013, pending its approval.

Central Land Council staff worked tirelessly with the host ladies before and during the event. Land Council staff provided the bulk of the on-ground logistical and support work and ensured that visitors followed the local protocols and directions.

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Besides utilising available internal resources, the Northern Land Council appreciates the support it receives from the ABA Advisory Committee and Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in approving its grant applications.

Governance Training The Council Member Induction Handbook describes our vision statement, key functions under the ALRA, good governance, member responsibilities and the decision-making process and delegation of powers, a code of conduct for council members and remuneration entitlements for attending meetings.

Photo 77: Ladies travelling in a convoy.

Inductions are given at the first meeting of each new Full Council and throughout the three-year term. Ongoing inductions and reiterations of policies, roles and responsibilities is a good training foundation towards building capacity in governance and management to perform and fulfil at Council Member level.

Council Members also received training in their capacity as members or directors on other boards, committee or attendance at forums. The Women’s Sub-Committee has kept up the momentum of articulating their views and informing and engaging with each other. The Secretariat Branch provides significant resources within its budget allocation to deliver and if necessary outsource specialised training and invites relevant experts to present at their meetings.

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Council Members are nominated to represent their community to form the Full Council of which the Executive Members are elected. By virtue of the ALRA and the CAC Act, the performance of directors is monitored and gauged on performing responsibilities and compliance requirements.

Apart from peer review and community satisfaction, there was no formal review of directors’ performance in this reporting period. Salaried staff provide advice but do not manage the performance of directors.

Assisting Aboriginal Corporations

Northern Land Council has provided considerable support to a large number of Aboriginal organisations including corporations incorporated under the Corporation (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) of the Commonwealth and associations incorporated under the NT Associations Act.

Advice, support and legal assistance has been provided to a number of corporations prosecuted by the Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations (ORIC) under the strict liability offences provisions of the CATSI Act.

The NLC provided court representation during 2012 and 2013 to corporations that had, in the NLC’s submissions to ORIC, been wrongly classified as ‘medium’ corporations—and thus liable to a higher standard of reporting and liability for prosecution. Many of these corporations had the sole purpose of holding title to, or had interests in, land that could not be claimed under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

In these matters the corporations were each potentially liable for fines of up to $41,250. The NLC’s submissions to ORIC that they should be re-classified as ‘small’ corporations were accepted. When these matters went before the

Local Court in Darwin for final determination, two of the charges were withdrawn against the corporations, and the remaining charge was dismissed by the Magistrate.

The NLC is assisting a large number of corporations with ongoing compliance assistance. NLC was also asked to provide support and advice to a number of associations incorporated under NT Associations Act, including several that required assistance with re-constitution of their management committees and compliance with the relevant legislation.

Outcome

NLC Executive Council Members sat on three external boards, forums and / or committees which is consistent with last reporting period. Similarly two leadership and governance training sessions were facilitated by the NLC.

NLC assisted with the reclassification of 10 corporations from “medium” to “small corporations” this alleviating the reporting standards under the CATSI Act.

Administration and Support Services

Photo 78: Numbulwar Area

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Distributions Objective: Receive and distribute statutory and other payments for Aboriginal people.

The NLC maintains a royalty trust account that receives monies on behalf of associations of Aboriginal people and individuals in accordance with section 35 of the ALRA. The monies are disbursed in accordance with the terms of the Trust. The NLC makes distributions of rents, payments and royalties payable to traditional owners and royalty receiving associations.

Breakdown of royalty distri Bution

payments

$’000

S35(2) Statutory Royalties 7,234

S35(3) Negotiated Payments 11,242

S35(4) Rental and Lease Monies 14,435

Other 1,053

33,964

The NLC also administers the Ceremonial Purposes Fund on behalf of the Aboriginals Benefit Account (refer to p199).

Taking instructions and the distribution of royalties and payments is a resource intensive process. The primary responsibility for the co-ordination of meetings of Aboriginal landowners to determine distributions lies with regional office staff and anthropologists. The NLC also assists groups to resolve disputes over distributions.

Outcome

Under ss15, 16 and 19 of the ALRA, income of $38,479,281 was generated from Aboriginal land and or native title holdings this year.

$30,732,927 of this income represents monies released by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in June 2013, following a ruling by the Australian Taxation Office in relation to GST obligations in respect of compulsory acquisition of land.

Subject to traditional owner instructions there are distributions made outside the statutory six months period. However, according to traditional decision making processes a total of 6,541 royalties payments were made during the course of the financial year.

Administering Aboriginal Land Trusts Objective: Assist Aboriginal Land Trusts to act appropriately and in accordance with the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976.

Land Trusts are statutory bodies corporate that hold title to Aboriginal land under the ALRA for the benefit of the Aboriginals concerned including traditional owners and Aboriginal persons who are entitled by tradition to use or occupy the land, whether or not that entitlement is qualified by

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place, time, circumstance, purpose or permission.

Where land is granted in a deed of grant held in escrow by a Land Council, a Land Trust may acquire the estates and interests of other persons with a view of gaining the delivery of the title to the Land Trust. A Land Trust cannot exercise its functions in relation to land except in accordance with a direction given by the Land Council.

Land Trusts consist of a Chairman and not less than three members who hold office for periods not exceeding five years. Land Trust members are usually traditional owners of the land held in trust.

The NLC assists the Land Trusts in a number of ways including the secure storage of Deeds of Grant and Common Seals, administering and negotiating leases, receiving and distributing monies such as rents and royalty payments and the resolution and management of disputes.

Outcome

There are 58 Aboriginal Land Trusts within NLC’s jurisdiction of which the membership of 13 required membership renewals in this reporting period.

Mediation and Dispute Resolution Objective: Support traditional owners to manage and resolve disputes.

With its favourable environment and relatively abundant water resources, the northern region of the NT has always had a large traditional owner population. Its position has also tended to attract much of the Territory’s non-Aboriginal population and subsequent development. The Territory’s capital for example is sited here. Considered along with the coast (which has many unique issues) and such things as farming, the uranium resources and large towns the Top End’s traditional owner population is confronted with numerous and often contentious issues. Not unnaturally there can be widely differing opinions held that result in tensions within and between groups with regard to some issue such as a proposed development. This can involve disputes.

In addition there are those that arise with regard to traditional ownership. These may be boundary disputes between groups, or they may be intra-group disputes regarding membership, or some combination.

The NLC’s functions include, under s25 of the ALRA, a duty to ‘attempt [the] conciliation of disputes’. “Where a Land Council is informed that there is, or there may arise, a dispute with respect to land in the area of the Council between persons to whom this section applies, the Land Council shall use its best endeavours by way of conciliation for the settlement or prevention, as the case may be, of that dispute.”

The land council is also the arbiter for the identification of the traditional owners of ALRA. Consequently the need arises for investigations of disputes, for mediation and for formal findings by the land council in some cases. The NLC takes this work seriously and works through them appropriately and professionally.

Governance

Photo 79: Jabul Huddleston at Lewin Springs talking about land, water and the significance of country.

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Corporate Governance Objective: Our corporate governance philosophy is underpinned by principles of accountability, transparency and openness, integrity, leadership and commitment.

The enabling legislation of the Northern Land Council is the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The responsible Minister for this reporting period was the then Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

In October 2012 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu was engaged to conduct a broad ranging review of the NLC, with a view to ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance, transparency and accountability. The review includes consideration of matters such as governance and structure, as well as any specific concerns or matters which may be raised. An Action Plan is being developed to implement the review’s recommendations.

The performance of Directors is informally reviewed by their peers, fellow regional council members, executive members and their community that nominated them as their representative. NLC staff provide corporate governance training and advice when required.

Exemptions Granted by Finance Minister

There were no exemptions granted by Finance Minister in regard to reporting requirements in 2012-2013.

Insurance Premiums for Officers No indemnity against liability has been given by agreement or other means to a current or former member of staff. Comcover provides general liability and professional indemnity insurance for NLC directors and officers. Legal practitioners are covered by compulsory professional indemnity as required by the NT Law Society.

Risk Management & Ethics The NLC understands the interaction between developing risk management principles, the framework and process within such a diverse organisation is a shared responsibility.

The elected Northern Land Council members are responsible for setting the policy and oversight of the risk management framework that integrates the process for managing risk into the organisations overall governance, strategy and planning, management, reporting processes, policies, values and culture to comply with the Australian/New Zealand Risk Management Standard (AS/ANZ ISO 31000:2009).

The senior management group, including the Chief Executive Officer is responsible for ensuring that systems, processes and controls are in place to minimise the uncertainty of risks and impacts on the organisation’s strategic objectives and operational outcomes.

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The Audit Committee is responsible for reviewing and monitoring the risk management processes and progress and in conjunction with the senior management group are expected to make recommendations about compliance and how to improve performance.

The framework is a fluid document and is expected to be updated along with the Strategic Plan.

The Audit Committee Charter sets out the purpose of the Audit Committee who act as an advisory body on the operation and financial management controls and reporting responsibilities of the organisation, oversee internal and external audit functions, and provide independent and objective assurance that the systems, processes and risk management strategies of the NLC are robust and comply with acceptable standards and Government requirements.

The Audit Committee is independently chaired by Ms Raelene Webb QC and attended by Suzanne Archbold (Deloitte), Galaminda the West Arnhem Region Executive Council Member and the General Manager Corporate Compliance of the Northern Land Council. Mr Matthew Kennon of Merit Partners also has a standing invitation to attend meetings on behalf of the Australian National Audit Office.

The NLC’s Code of Conduct Policy and Council Member’s Handbook outlines ethical behaviour standards at both personal and professional levels expected within the workplace. The NLC workplaces include an office environment and or remote field environment. Each staff member is made aware of and has access to the Code of Conduct on commencement, via the intranet and during reviews. Similarly the Full Council Members receive an induction and copy of the handbook, behaviour is on the agenda of senior management group meetings and council meetings.

Related Entity Transaction The Full Council is made up of 83 council members representing 7 regions in NLC’s jurisdiction; it is the Full Council that makes decisions about any grant transactions.

Freedom of Information NLC is exempt from reporting under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and suggests readers visit the Information Publication Scheme website http://www.oaic.gov.au/ips/ for more information.

Consultant Procedures, Competitive Tendering and Contract Management

The procurement policy is consistent with the Commonwealth procurement principles. During the reporting period the NLC engaged the following list of consultants to do work in relation to the Council’s functions and exercise of powers under ALRA, as required under s.37(8) of ALRA.

Consultant e xpenditure 2012-2013

Contracts over $100,000 4

Total Consultants Expenditure $2,279,461.93

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2012/2013 $

Consultants - a boriginal

Bradshaw & Timber Creek Contracting & Resource Co. 4,705.00

Gordon Nawundulpi 2,825.50

Graham Kenyon T/As Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours 402.54

7,933.04

Consultants - a nthropologists

Adrian Peace 620.00

Anthropos Consulting 43,603.27

Appleby Consulting 3,534.00

Bennetts Anthropological Consultancies 97,389.39

Bill Ivory Ivordar Service 2,000.00

Brendan Corrigan Anthropological Services 20,011.51

Dr David Cooper 23,412.02

Darrell Lewis 2,200.00

Dr Mary Laughren 1,000.00

Dr Nancy Williams 11,000.00

Dr Nicolas Peterson 563.64

Dr Philip Clarke 620.00

Elizabeth A. Povinelli 15,000.00

Frank Mckeown 199,839.79

Gay English Consulting 62,490.03

Ian White 12,343.44

Jeffrey Stead Anthropological Consultant 35,067.44

Jitendra Kumarage 39,464.60

John Dymock 45,304.94

Keely T.P. 563.63

Martin Thomas 620.00

Mick Reynolds 88,138.37

Ms P. Vaarzon-Morel 1,000.00

Patricia F. Puig 4,000.00

Six Seasons 320.00

Walter Zukowski 14,870.32

Samantha Wells 454.54

Wendy Asche 3,713.00

729,143.93

Consultants - l egal

All About Planning 1,125.00

Christopher Horan 33,500.00

Christopher Young 23,375.00

Endeavour Consulting Group 34,854.26

Freehills 10,618.80

Glacken, Sturt 332,267.05

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Jamie Dalziel 23,757.50

Keely T.P. 59,085.43

Mark Johnson 21,500.00

Megan Eliza Brayne 135,580.70

Mr Peter Wills 49,222.73

Sarasan Pty Ltd 6,500.00

Sean Bowden 26,131.25

Slm Corporate Pty Ltd 21,560.00

Sue Meagham 26,040.00

Webb, Raelene 4,000.00

809,117.72

Consultants - o ther

Ap Chem Scientific Consultant 8,125.00

Abrus Consulting Pty Ltd 54,591.73

Abs Scrofa (Australia) P/L 30,120.00

Brendan Lewis 64,925.00

Central Land Council 5,280.00

Charles Darwin University 2,500.00

David Murray Lee 2,825.09

De Silva Hebron 76,972.41

Deloitte (Brisbane) 181,047.15

Desert Wildlife Services 8,495.45

Dr Howard David Smith 10,000.00

Ecoz Pty Ltd 31,516.96

Endeavour Consulting Group 18,109.36

Ganamarr Consultants Pty Ltd 20,000.00

Gmorph Consultants 14,373.85

H. T. Masero 7,000.00

John Robinson Consulting Services Pty Ltd 8,181.82

Kenneth Hunt 8,085.32

Michael A. Stevens 8,800.00

MLC Financial Planning 1,409.09

Nailsma Ltd 25,000.00

Nic Gambold 20,642.70

Opus International Consultants (Aus) Pty Ltd NT 29,068.59

Robert Welfare 68,181.82

Savvy Community Development Consultants 15,696.00

Tallagandra Rural Consulting Pty Ltd 12,319.90

733,267.24

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Advertising and Market Research The Northern Land Council advertised during normal recruitment campaigns, released a number of media releases and published the Land Rights Newspaper. Northern Land Council attended the Katherine regional show to promote community awareness of its role and achievements displayed on 16 stands of panels. No market research, pooling or direct mail activities were undertaken this financial year.

Environmental Performance The key principles of ecologically sustainability development are considered in the key objectives of NLC’s strategic plan and are addressed throughout consultations and negotiations of land use proposals. In particular the economic, environmental, cultural and political impacts are considered during decision making processes at both traditional Aboriginal owner and Full Council levels. This includes the precautionary principle, and monitoring and compliance of environmental impacts of exploration and mining on the natural and cultural resources.

The Northern Land Council leases the buildings it occupies therefore there are limitations in terms of influencing environmental management saving initiatives such as grey water recycling systems, solar systems. However practices to reduce waste management issues and conserve energy through efficiencies of lighting, electrical compliances and refrigeration are considered.

In particular community based land management rangers are at the forefront of reducing the carbon footprint through on-ground savannah fire management systems including the sustainable use of wildlife resources, evasive species management and maintaining and conserving biodiversity. These activities are demonstrable in the land and sea management section of this report.

Formalising reporting against ecological sustainable development principles will be further considered during the development of the new NLC Strategic Plan.

Information Management In consultation with the NLC the National Archives of Australia (NAA) developed a Records Authority 2010/00643150 which sets out the requirements for keeping or destroying records. This represented a significant commitment on NLC’s behalf to understand, create and manage the records of its activities.

The Authority is based on the identification and analysis of NLC’s business by taking into account the legal and organisational records management requirements and the interests of stakeholders and NAA.

The Authority also sets out those records that need to be retained at NAA and specifies the minimum length of time that temporary records need to be kept. Under the Archives Act (Cth) 1983 the Authority permits the destruction of temporary records after the retention period has expired.

Policy Statement: Preserving the Past— Protecting the Present— Planning for the Future

All information electronic and physical records provide evidence of NLC’s business functions, activities and transactions. True and accurate records are vital to the achievement of current and future objectives, legal process and the corporate and cultural history of the organisation.

Northern Land Council information management practices must comply with all relevant legislation, standards, NAA Policies and Guidelines and the Commonwealth Protection Security Manual.

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No officer employed by NLC has the right to destroy records unless it is in accordance with the Archive Act, which means an Authority to Destroy processed through the Information Management Unit and approved by the Chief Executive Officer or delegate.

Annual assessments of information management are required and reported to the NAA and this year achieved compliance rating of 71.8%. This was achievable by improved business practices, continual training programmes, implementation of electronic documents management system, upgrade of the record keeping system, implementation of the Digital Transitional Policy and approval and publication of Information Management Policy and Policy Statements.

A key outcome of the Transitional Digital Policy, is that Information Management staff are working within the National Archives facility and have commenced the digitalisation of physical records owned by the Northern Land Council.

Information Communications and Technology Information Communications and Technology (ICT) continued improve the NLC’s information technology system and the delivery of specialised ICT services to the growing organisation.

The implementation of Citrix Xenapp improved the accessibility of NLC corporate applications and data services to staff located outside the corporate network.

The major software service provided in this reporting period was the design and development of funeral and ceremony application system. The system was developed to record the funeral and ceremony

applications, monitoring approvals and provide statistical report.

The major information technology development projects this year have been:

» Upgrades to internet Web monitoring software to monitor internet data usage and improve internet security.

» Upgrades of the ICT service desk system to improve the delivery of ICT services.

» Installation of vehicle fleet system to record and manage NLC vehicles.

» Installation of satellite internet connection at Malak Malak, Bulman and Mimal NLC ranger stations to improve connectivity to the NLC network.

» Purchase of Cyber Tracker and Android devices for field data collection and provide training to ranger staff on the usage of those devices.

» Upgrades to SharePoint application server to improve search, reports and workflow functionalities on NLC intranet.

» Implementation of library system to leverage of SharePoint functionalities and record all books, documents, videos and other library items.

Fleet & Property Management The NLC maintains a fleet of over 100 vehicles including a range of four wheel drives, sedans, trailers and buses. The ranger program requires specialised vehicles like quads and boats; the entire fleet is maintained to roadworthy standards. The fleet is funded from different sources with 71 from ABA, native title or grant funding; 48 are funded for ranger use and there are three lease vehicles.

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All 4WD fleet vehicles are suitably fitted out to travel to local and remote communities and to endure the harsh environment.

Photo 80: Beetles feeding off native vegetation.

Committees

NLC maintains a number of remote office and accommodation properties including ranger outposts. Offices occupied by NLC in Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, Jabiru, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek are rental properties.

Delegations

There were no delegations made in accordance with s28 ALRA.

Committee

There were no committees appointed in accordance with s29A ALRA.

Audit Advisory Committee

The NLC formed the Audit Advisory Committee in compliance with Section 32 of the CAC Act. The Audit Advisory Committee plays a key role in assisting the Council to fulfil its governance responsibilities, ethical practices and accountability requirements.

One Audit Committee Meeting was held during the reporting period, members Suzanne Archbold and Steven Lawrence, General Manager Corporate Compliance attended.

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Work Health and Safety Committee

This Committee comprises six internal members whose role it is to provide advice to the CEO on Work Health and Safety issues and monitor the NLC’s compliance with statutory obligations and best practice guidelines that are relevant to workplace safety.

The Occupational Health & Safety Committee did not meet the requirements under that Act due to some key staff resigning from NLC. Key positions have recently been appointed to assist with re-establishing the committee as a high priority for NLC.

Enterprise Agreement Committee

A new committee consisting of staff and management will be formed to commence negotiating following the expiration of the 2011-2013 Enterprise Agreement. On behalf of it members, the Commonwealth Public Sector Union will also contributing to this process.

Land Claim Committee

The Land Claim Committee comprises Lawyers, Anthropologists and Regional Office staff who meet as required to co-ordinate the preparation of land claims.

Native Title Committee

This Committee monitors the NLC’s performance of its native title functions, including expenditure against budget estimates and progress towards operational milestones. Members include Lawyers, Anthropologists, Finance and Mining staff as required.

Committee /Group representati Ve

internal Governance

audit a dvisory Committee Raelene Webb QC,Chair

Bunug Galaminda (Executive Member) Suzanne Archbold, (Deloitte)

o H & s Committee Steven Lawrence (Chair)

Greg McDonald Ruiha Maskovich Jeffrey Yoelu Brooke Watson Cindy Hoban

enterprise a greement

Committee July 2013 m anagement

Cpsu and s taff

Steven Lawrence Cindy Hoban

Tamara Cole Garrett Smith Kirsty Howey Rebecca Sirilas Joy Cardona Adam Thompson

l and Claims Committee Lawyers, Anthropologists and

Regional Office staff.

native t itle Committee Lawyers,Anthropologists,

Finance and Mining staff as required.

Committee /Group representati Ve

external Governance

aboriginals Benefit account July 2012-June 2013

Wali Wunungmurra Lisa Mumbin Leonard Norman George King Andy Ganarradj Peter Lansen Donna Sullivan

aboriginal i nvestment

Group July 2012-June 2013

Wali Wunungmurra Samuel Bush-Blanasi Leonard Norman Galaminda George King Bill Risk Peter Lansen Helen Lee Dhuwarrwarr Marika

imparja Board Bill Risk

nt G ministerial r egional

Governance w orking Group

Samuel Bush-Blanasi

NLC Financial Report

Photo 81: Fire sensitive areas being protected by undertaking early burning regime - Sand Palm alight, Numbulwar.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

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Northern Land Council 2012/2013 Annual Financial Report Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (CAC) Act

Contents Statement by the Directors, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer 168

Statement of Comprehensive Income 169

Balance Sheet 170

Statement of Changes In Equity 171

Cash Flow Statement 172

Schedule of Commitments 173

Schedule of Contingencies 174

Note 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies 174

Note 2: Events After the Balance Sheet Date 182

Note 3: Expenses 183

Note 4: Income 184

Note 5: Income Tax Expense (Competitive Neutrality) 185

Note 6: Financial Assets 185

Note 7: Non-Financial Assets 187

Note 8: Payables 190

Note 9: Provisions 191

Note 10: Cash Flow Reconciliation 191

Note 11: Contingent Assets and Liabilities 192

Note 12: Directors Remuneration 192

Note 13: Related Party Disclosures 193

Note 14: Senior Executive Remuneration 193

Note 15: Remuneration of Auditors 195

Note 16: Financial Instruments 195

Note 17: Assets Held in Trust 197

Note 18: Aboriginals Benefit Account Appropriations 198

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Statement by the Directors, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer

31 January 2014

Signed:

................................................................

Samuel Bush-Blanasi Chairperson

Signed:

................................................................

Robert Graham Acting Chief Executive Officer

Signed:

................................................................

John Daly Deputy Chairperson

Signed:

................................................................

Steven Lawrence Acting General Manager Corporate Compliance

In our opinion, the attached financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2013 are based on properly maintained financial records and give a true and fair view of the matters required by the Finance Ministers Orders made under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 as amended.

In our opinion, at the date of this statement, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Northern Land Council will be able to pay its debts as and when they become due and payable.

This statement is made in accordance with a resolution of the directors.

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Statement of Comprehensive Income For the year ended 30 June 2013 Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

eXPeNses

Employee benefits 3A 20,252 18,673

Suppliers expenses 3B 19,561 17,191

Depreciation and amortisation 3C 1,357 1,690

Write-down and impairment of assets 3D 741 322

Loss on disposal of assets 3E 273 -

Other expenses 3F 6,596 3,028

total expenses 48,780 40,904

Less: oWN-soURCe INCoMe

own-source revenue

Sale of goods and rendering of services 4A 4,119 1,765

Interest 4B 631 653

total own-source revenue 4,750 2,418

Gains

Sale of assets 4C 10 25

Reversals of previous asset write-downs and impairments 4D 234 2,486

total gains 244 2,511

total own-source Income 4,994 4,929

Net cost of services 43,786 35,975

Revenue from Government-FaHCSIA 4E 5,008 4,469

Revenue from ABA S64 (1) 4F 18,597 17,558

Revenue from Government-Special purpose grant 4G 6,820 10,065

30,425 32,092

surplus (Deficit) on continuing operations (13,361) (3,883)

other Comprehensive Income

Change in asset revaluation surplus (221) -

total other comprehensive income (221) -

total comprehensive income (loss) attributable to the Australian Government

(13,582) (3,883)

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Balance Sheet As at 30 June 2013

Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

Assets

Financial Assets

Cash and cash equivalents 6A 4,577 19,427

Trade and other receivables 6B 6,642 3,031

total Financial Assets 11,219 22,458

Non-Financial Assets

Land and buildings 7A 3,209 3,276

Property, plant and equipment 7B 1,062 1,660

Intangibles 7C - 544

Other non-financial assets 7D 139 17

total Non-Financial Assets 4,410 5,497

total Assets 15,629 27,955

LIABILItIes

Payables

Suppliers 8A 2,829 2,560

Other payables 8B 1,397 619

total payables 4,226 3,179

Provisions

Employee provisions 9A 3,266 3,057

total provisions 3,266 3,057

total Liabilities 7,492 6,236

Net Assets 8,137 21,719

eQUItY

Asset Revaluation Reserves 44 265

Retained earnings 8,093 21,454

total parent entity interest 8,137 21,719

total equity 8,137 21,719

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Statement of Changes In Equity For the year 30 June 2013

RetAINeD eARNINGs Asset RevALUAtIoN ReseRves totAL eQUItY

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

opening balance

Balance carried forward from previous period

21,454 25,337 265 265 21,719 25,602

Adjusted opening balance 21,454 25,337 265 265 21,719 25,602

Comprehensive Income

Other comprehensive Income - - (221) - (221) -

Surplus (Deficit) for the period (13,361) (3,883) - - (13,361) (3,883)

total Comprehensive Income (13,361) (3,883) (221) - (13,582) (3,883)

Closing balance as at 30 June 8,093 21,454 44 265 8,137 21,719

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Cash Flow Statement For the year ended 30 June 2013 Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

oPeRAtING ACtIvItIes

Cash received

Sales of goods and rendering of services 3,812 358

Receipts from Government 29,365 46,104

Interest 631 653

total cash received 33,808 47,115

Cash used

Employees (19,715) (18,178)

Suppliers (20,245) (19,507)

Distribution of old S64(1) Funding (7,096) (2,528)

Net GST paid (936) 874

total cash used (47,992) (39,339)

Net cash from (used by) operating activities 10 (14,184) 7,776

INvestING ACtIvItIes

Cash received

Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment 44 25

total cash received 44 25

Cash used

Purchase of property, plant and equipment 7C (710) (1,339)

total cash used (710) (1,339)

Net cash from (used by) investing activities (666) (1,314)

Net increase or (decrease) in cash held (14,850) 6,462

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the reporting period

19,427 12,965

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the reporting period 10 4,577 19,427

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Schedule of Commitments As at 30 June 2013

Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

BY tYPe

Commitments Receivable

GST recoverable on commitments (584) (713)

total Commitments Receivable (584) (713)

other commitments

Operating leases1 5,694 7,252

Operational Commitments 726 594

total other commitments 6,420 7,846

Net commitments by type 5,836 7,133

BY MAtURItY

Commitments receivable operating lease income

One year or less (210) (209)

From one to five years (350) (472)

Over five years (24) (33)

total operating lease income (584) (714)

Commitments payable operating Lease Commitments

One year or less 1,588 1,702

From one to five years 3,855 5,192

Over five years 251 358

total operating Lease Commitments 5,694 7,252

operational Commitments

One year or less 726 594

total operational Commitments 726 594

total Commitments payable 6,420 7,846

Net Commitments by Maturity 5,836 7,132

Note: Commitments are GST inclusive where relevant.

The nature of operating commitments relates to the leases for office accommodation and office equipment.

Lease payments are subject to annual increases in accordance with upwards movements in the Consumer Price Index. The initial periods of office accommodation leases are still current and each may be renewed for up to ten years at the Northern Land Council’s option, following a once-off adjustment of rentals to current market levels.

Operational Commitments are various goods & services ordered and not yet received.

The above schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Schedule of Contingencies As at 30 June 2013

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Contingent liabilities

Claim for damages or costs 208 208

total contingent liabilities 208 208

Details of each class of contingent liabilities and contingent assets listed above are disclosed in Note: 11

The above schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

Note 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies 1.1 Objective of Northern Land Council The Northern Land Council is a statutory authority formed within the provision of Section 21 of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA). The Northern Land Council receives appropriations from the Aboriginal Benefit Account (ABA) pursuant to ministerially approved estimates prepared in accordance with Section 34 of the Act and made available under Section 64 of the Act. The Northern Land Council in its present form with its present programs is dependent on Government policy and on continuing appropriations. It is a not for profit entity.

The Council is structured to meet the following outcomes:

Outcome 1: Access to Aboriginal Land is managed effectively and efficiently.

Outcome 2: Traditional owners are assisted to manage their land, sea and natural resources in a sustainable manner.

Outcome 3: To assist Aboriginal people to obtain or acquire property rights over their traditional land seas.

Outcome 4: To secure economic, social and cultural benefits for traditional owners from developments taking place on Aboriginal land.

Outcome 5: Develop employment and training plans in partnership with industry and government stakeholders, and facilitate the implementation of these plans.

Outcome 6: Efficiently process exploration and mining license applications and provide accurate advice on potential environmental impacts and benefits.

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Outcome 7: Empower Aboriginal people to carry out commercial activities and build sustainable enterprises.

Outcome 8: Advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people and express their views.

Outcome 9: Raise public awareness of the NLC’s work and the views of Aboriginal people.

Outcome 10: Supporting Aboriginal people to maintain and protect their sacred sites and cultural heritage.

Outcome 11: Help Aboriginal people achieve their development potential by facilitating access to leadership and governance programs, and resources, infrastructure and government services.

Outcome 12: Receive and distribute statutory and other payments for Aboriginal people.

Outcome 13: Assist Land Trusts’ to act appropriately and in accordance with the ALRA.

Outcome 14: Support traditional owners to manage and resolve disputes

The funding conditions of the Northern Land Council are laid down by the ALRA, and any special purpose grant guidelines. Accounting for monies received from the ABA is subject to conditions approved by the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

1.2 Basis of Preparation of the Financial Statements The financial statements are general purpose financial statements and are required by clause 1(b) of Schedule 1 to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

The financial statements and notes have been prepared in accordance with:

» Finance Ministers Orders (FMOs) for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2012; and

» Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.

The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and are in accordance with historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the financial position.

The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and all values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.

Unless an alternative treatment is specifically required by an Accounting Standard or the FMO’s, assets and liabilities are recognised in the Balance Sheet when and only when it is probable that future economic benefits will flow to the organisation or a future sacrifice of economic benefits will be required and the amounts of the assets or liabilities can be reliably measured. However, assets and liabilities arising under executory contracts are not recognised unless required by an accounting standard. Liabilities and assets that are unrecognised are reported in the schedule of commitments or the schedule of contingencies.

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Unless alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard, income and expenses are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income when, and only when, the flow, consumption or loss of economic benefits has occurred and can be reliably measured.

1.3 Significant Accounting Judgements and Estimates No accounting assumptions or estimates have been identified that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next accounting period.

1.4 New Australian Accounting Standards

Adoption of New Australian Accounting Standard Requirements

No accounting standard has been adopted earlier than the application date as stated in the standard.

New standards/revised standards/interpretations/amending statements that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the current reporting period did not have a financial impact, and are not expected to have a future financial impact on the Northern Land Council.

Future Australian Accounting Standard Requirements

New standards that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to future reporting periods are not expected to have a future financial impact on the Northern Land Council.

1.5 Revenue Revenue from the sale of goods is recognised when: a) the risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the buyer; b) the Northern Land Council retains no managerial involvement or effective control

over the goods; c) the revenue and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and d) it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the entity.

Revenue from rendering of services is recognised by reference to the stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date. The revenue is recognised when: a) the amount of revenue, stage of completion and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and

b) the probable economic benefits with the transaction will flow to the entity.

The stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date is determined by reference to the proportion that costs incurred to date bear to the estimated total costs of the transaction.

Receivables for goods and services, which have 30 day terms, are recognised at the nominal amounts due less any impairment allowance account. Collectability of debts is reviewed as at the end of the reporting period. Allowances are made when collectability of the debt is no longer probable.

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Interest revenue is recognised using the effective interest method as set out in AASB 139 Financial Instruments: recognition and Measurement.

Revenues from Government

Funding received or receivable from agencies are recognised as revenue from Government when the entity gains control of the appropriation, except for certain amounts that are reciprocal in nature, in which case revenue is recognised only when it is earned.

Appropriations receivable are recognised at their nominal amounts.

1.6 Gains

Resources Received Free of Charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised as gains when, and only when, a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense.

Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.

Contributions of assets at no cost of acquisition or for nominal consideration are recognised as gains at their fair value when the asset qualifies for recognition, unless received from another Government agency or authority as a consequence of a restructuring of administrative arrangements.

Sale of Assets

Gains from disposal of non-current assets are recognised when control of the asset has passed to the buyer.

1.7 Employee Benefits Liabilities for short-term employee benefits’ (as defined in AASB 119 Employee Benefits) and termination benefits due within twelve months of the end of reporting period are measured at their nominal amounts.

The nominal amount is calculated with regard to the rates expected to be paid on settlement of the liability.

Leave

The liability for employee benefits includes provision for annual leave and long service leave. No provision has been made for sick leave as all sick leave is non-vesting and the average sick leave taken in future years by employees of the Northern Land Council is estimated to be less than the annual entitlement for sick leave.

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The leave liabilities are calculated on the basis of employees’ remuneration at the estimated salary rates that applied at the time the leave is taken, including the Northern Land Council’s employer superannuation contribution rates to the extent that the leave is likely to be taken during service rather than paid out on termination.

The estimate of the present value of the long service leave liability takes into attrition rates and pay increases through promotion and inflation.

Separation and Redundancy

Provision is made for separation and redundancy benefit payments. The Northern Land Council recognises a provision for termination when it has developed a detailed formal plan for the terminations and has informed those employees affected that it will carry out the terminations.

Superannuation

The majority of Northern Land Council’s staff are members of the MLC Superannuation Scheme and MLC Limited plan for casual employees. The Northern Land Council complies with the requirements of the superannuation choice legislation. All superannuation contributions are to defined contribution plans. The liability for superannuation recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding contributions.

1.8 Leases A distinction is made between finance leases and operating leases. Finance leases effectively transfer from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of leased assets. An operating lease is a lease that is not a finance lease. In operating leases, the lessor effectively retains substantially all such risks and benefits.

Operating lease payments are expensed on a straight line basis which is representative of the pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets.

1.9 Cash Cash is recognised at its nominal amount. Cash and cash equivalents include: a) cash on hand b) demand deposits in bank accounts with an original maturity of 3 months or less that are readily

convertible to known amounts of cash and subject to insignificant risk of changes in value.

1.10 Financial Assets The Northern Land Council classifies its financial assets in the following categories: a) ‘loans and receivables’.

The classification depends on the nature and purpose of the financial assets and is determined at the time of initial recognition. Financial assets are recognised and derecognised upon trade date.

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Loans and Receivables

Trade receivables, loans and other receivables that have fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market are classified as ‘loans and receivables’. Loans and receivables are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method less impairment. Interest is recognised by applying the effective interest rate.

Effective Interest Method

The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial asset and of allocating interest income over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash receipts through the expected life of the financial asset, or, where appropriate, a shorter period.

Income is recognised on an effective interest rate basis except for financial assets that are recognised at fair value through profit or loss.

Impairment of Financial Assets

Financial assets are assessed for impairment at each reporting period.

Financial assets held at amortised cost - if there is objective evidence that an impairment loss has been incurred for loans and receivables or held to maturity investments held at amortised cost, the amount of the loss is measured as the difference between the asset’s carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows discounted at the asset’s original effective interest rate. The carrying amount is reduced by way of an allowance account. The loss is recognised in the statement of comprehensive income.

Available for sale financial assets - if there is objective evidence that an impairment loss or an available for sale financial asset has been incurred, the amount of the difference between its cost, less principal repayments and amortisation, and its current fair value, less any impairment loss previously recognised in expenses, is transferred from equity to the statement of comprehensive income.

Available for sale financial assets held at cost - if there is objective evidence that an impairment loss has been incurred the amount of the impairment loss is the difference between the carrying amount of the asset and the present value of the estimated future cash flows discounted at the current market rate for similar assets.

1.11 Financial Liabilities Financial liabilities are classified as other financial liabilities. Financial liabilities are recognised and derecognised upon trade date.

Other Financial Liabilities

Other financial liabilities, including borrowings, are initially measured at fair value, net of

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transaction costs. Other financial liabilities are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, with interest expense recognised on an effective yield basis.

The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial liability and of allocating interest expense over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments through the expected life of the financial liability, or, where appropriate, a shorter period.

Supplier and other payables are recognised at amortised cost. Liabilities are recognised to the extent that the goods or services have been received (and irrespective of having been invoiced).

1.12 Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets Contingent liabilities and contingent assets are not recognised in the balance sheet but are reported in the relevant schedules and notes. They may arise from uncertainty as to the existence of a liability or asset or represent an asset or liability in respect of which the amount cannot be reliably measured. Contingent assets are disclosed when settlement is probable but not virtually certain and contingent liabilities are disclosed when settlement is greater than remote.

1.13 Acquisition of Assets Assets are recorded at cost on acquisition except as stated below. The cost of acquisition includes the fair value of assets transferred in exchange and liabilities undertaken. Financial assets are initially measured at their fair value plus transaction costs where appropriate.

Assets acquired at no cost, or for nominal consideration, are initially recognised as assets and income at their fair value at the date of acquisition, unless acquired as a consequence of restructuring of administrative arrangements. In the latter case, assets are initially recognised as contributions by owners at the amounts at which they were recognised in the transfer of Northern Land Council’s accounts immediately prior to the restructuring.

1.14 Property, Plant and Equipment Asset Recognition Threshold

Purchases of property, plant and equipment are recognised initially at cost in the balance sheet, except for purchases below the capitalisation threshold, which are expensed in the year of acquisition (other than where they form part of a group of similar items which are significant in total). The capitalisation thresholds values are:

Land $20,000

Buildings $20,000

Leasehold Improvements $5,000

Furniture and Equipment $5,000

Information Technology (Hardware) $5,000

Information Technology (Software) $5,000

Motor Vehicles $10,000

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Revaluations

Fair values for each class of asset are determined as shown below:

Asset CLAss FAIR vALUe MeAsUReD

Land Market selling price

Buildings excluding Leasehold Improvements Market selling price

Leasehold Improvements Depreciated replacement cost

Other Property Plant and Equipment Market selling price

Following initial recognition at cost, property plant and equipment are carried at fair value less subsequent accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Valuations are conducted with sufficient frequency to ensure that the carrying amounts of assets do not differ materially from the assets’ fair values as at the reporting date. The regularity of independent valuations depends upon the volatility of movements in market values for the relevant assets.

Revaluation adjustments are made on a class basis. Any revaluation increment is credited to equity under the heading of asset revaluation reserve except to the extent that it reverses a previous revaluation decrement of the same asset class that was previously recognised in the surplus/deficit. Revaluation decrements for a class of assets are recognised directly in the surplus/deficit except to the extent that they reverse a previous revaluation increment for that class.

Any accumulated depreciation as at the revaluation date is eliminated against the gross carrying amount of the asset and the asset restated to the revalued amount.

Depreciation

Depreciable property, plant and equipment assets are written-off to their estimated residual values over their estimated useful lives to the Northern Land Council using, in all cases, the straight-line method of depreciation.

Depreciation rates (useful lives), residual values and methods are reviewed at each reporting date and necessary adjustments are recognised in the current, or current and future reporting periods, as appropriate.

Depreciation rates applying to each class of depreciable asset are based on the following useful lives:

2013 2012

Buildings on Freehold Land 10-40 years 40 years

Leasehold Improvements Lease term Lease term

Office Furniture & Equipment 3 to 5 years 3 to 5 years

Motor Vehicles 3 years 3 years

Plant & Equipment 3 years 3 years

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Impairment

All assets were assessed for impairment at 30 June 2013. Where indications of impairment exist, the assets’ recoverable amount is estimated and an impairment adjustment if the asset’s recoverable amount is less than its carrying amount.

The recoverable amount of an asset is the higher of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. Value in use is the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from the asset. Where the future economic benefit of an asset is not primarily dependent on the asset’s ability to generate future cash flows, and the asset would be replaced if the Northern Land Council were deprived of the asset, its value in use is taken to be its depreciated replacement cost.

Derecognition

An item of property, plant and equipment is derecognised upon disposal or when no further future economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal.

1.15 Intangibles The Northern Land Council’s intangibles comprise commercial and internally developed software for internal use. These assets are carried at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses.

Software is amortised on a straight-line basis over its anticipated useful life. The useful life of the Council’s software is 3 years.

All software assets were assessed for indications of impairment as at 30 June 2013.

1.16 Taxation / Competitive Neutrality The Northern Land Council is exempt from all forms of taxation except fringe benefits tax (FBT) and the goods and services tax (GST).

Revenues, expenses and assets are recognised net of GST except: a) where the amount of GST incurred is not recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office; and b) for receivables and payables.

Competitive Neutrality

The Northern Land Council does not provide services on a profit basis. Therefore the Land Council is not required to make Australian Income Tax Equivalent payments to the Government.

Note 2: Events After the Balance Sheet Date There are no subsequent events that had the potential to significantly affect the ongoing structure and Financial Activities of the entity.

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Note 3: Expenses

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 3A: employee Benefits

Wages and salaries 17,250 15,774

Superannuation: Defined contribution plans

1,990

1,850

Leave and other entitlements 1,012 1,049

Total employee benefits 20,252 18,673

Note 3B: suppliers

Goods and services

Consultants 2,515 2,715

Stationery 373 349

Travel Expenses 4,429 3,278

Vehicle Expenses 2,081 1,988

Office Accommodation 868 745

IT/Communications 1,260 1,443

Payment to Grant Partners 1,682 1,312

Other Expenses 4,223 3,588

Total goods and services 17,431 15,417

Goods and services are made up of:

Provision of goods - external parties 6,754 5,725

Rendering of services - external parties 10,677 9,692

Total goods and services 17,431 15,417

other supplier expenses

Operating lease rentals:

Minimum lease payments 1,784 1,719

Workers compensation premiums 346 55

total other supplier expenses 2,130 1,774

total supplier expenses 19,561 17,191

Note 3C: Depreciation and amortisation

Depreciation:

Infrastructure, plant and equipment 1,012 1,370

Buildings 74 48

total depreciation 1,086 1,418

Amortisation:

Intangibles:

Computer Software 271 272

total amortisation 271 272

total depreciation and amortisation 1,357 1,690

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 3D: Write-Down and Impairment of Assets

Asset write-downs and impairment from:

Impairment on Financial Instruments 708 -

Impairment of PP&E 33 322

total write-down and impairment of assets 741 322

Note 3e: Loss on disposal of Assets

Intangibles

Proceeds from sale - -

Carrying value of assets disposed 273 -

total loss from assets sales 273 -

Note 3F: other expenses

Distribution of old S64(1) Funding—related entities 6,596 3,028

total other expenses 6,596 3,028

Note 4: Income

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

oWN-soURCe ReveNUe

Note 4A: sale of Goods and Rendering of s ervices

Rendering of services—related entities 559 225

Rendering of services—external parties 3,560 1,540

total sale of goods and rendering of services 4,119 1,765

Note 4B: Interest

Deposits 631 653

total interest 631 653

GAINs

Note 4C: sale of Assets

Infrastructure, plant and equipment

Proceeds from sale 44 25

Carrying value of assets sold (34) -

total gain from sale of assets 10 25

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 4D: Reversals of Previous Asset write-downs and Impairments

Reversal of Impairment losses 234 2,486

total Reversals of previous asset write-downs and impairments 234 2,486

ReveNUe FRoM GoveRNMeNt

Note 4e: Revenue from Government—FaHC sIA

Native Title Program 3,666 3,969

Revenue from ABA S64 (4) 870 -

Others 472 500

5,008 4,469

Note 4F: ABA s64 (1)

FaHCSIA—Revenue from ABA S64 (1) 18,597 17,558

18,597 17,558

Note 4G: Revenue from Government— special Purpose Grants

Dept of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 3,405 4,079

Indigenous Land Corporation 1,749 2,363

Department of Defence 153 469

Department of Resource NT 200 657

Others 1,313 2,497

6,820 10,065

Note 5: Income Tax Expense (Competitive Neutrality) The Northern Land Council has been approved as a Public Benevolent Institution. The services of the Council are provided on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis. Therefore the Northern Land Council is not subject to the Australian Government’s Competitive Neutrality policy.

Note 6: Financial Assets

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 6A: Cash and cash equivalents

Cash on hand or on deposit 4,577 19,427

total cash and cash equivalents 4,577 19,427

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 6B: trade and other receivables

Goods and services

Goods & services—external parties 2,153 1,773

total receivable for goods and services 2,153 1,773

Grant receivables

Grant receivables 2,977 1,929

ABA S64(1) Release 1,552 -

total Grant receivables 4,529 1,929

total trade Receivables 6,682 3,702

other receivables

GST receivable from the Australian Taxation Office 1,078 244

total other receivables 1,078 244

total trade and other receivables (gross) 7,760 3,947

Less impairment allowance account:

Goods and services Receivable (1,118) (645)

Other Receivable (GST) - (271)

total impairment allowance account (1,118) (916)

total trade and other receivables (net) 6,642 3,031

Receivable are expected to be recovered in:

No more than 12 months 6,642 3,031

More than 12 months - -

total trade and other receivables (net) 6,642 3,031

Receivables are aged as follows:

Not overdue 5,742 2,347

Overdue by:

0 to 30 days 408 248

31 to 60 days 1 15

61 to 90 days 212 98

More than 90 days 1,397 1,239

total receivables (gross) 7,760 3,947

The impairment allowance account is aged as follows:

Not overdue - -

Overdue by:

0 to 30 days - -

31 to 60 days - -

61 to 90 days - -

More than 90 days (1,118) (916)

total impairment allowance account (1,118) (916)

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Note 6B: trade and other receivables (cont’d)

Reconciliation of the impairment allowance account:

Movements in relation to 2013

Goods and services 2013 $’000

other

receivables (Gst) 2013 $’000

ABA s64(1) receivables 2013 $’000

total 2013 $’000

Opening balance 645 271 - 916

Amounts written off (1) (271) - (272)

Amounts recovered and reversed (234) - - (234)

Increase/(decrease) recognised in net surplus 708 - - 708

Closing balance 1,118 - - 1,118

Movements in relation to 2012

Goods and services 2012 $’000

Other

receivables (GST ) 2012 $’000

ABA S64(1) receivables 2012 $’000

Total 2012 $’000

Opening balance 687 307 3,172 4,166

Amounts written off (284) (802) (1,086)

Amounts recovered and reversed (79) (36) (2,370) (2,485)

Increase/(decrease) recognised in net surplus 321 - - 321

Closing balance 645 271 - 916

Note 7: Non-Financial Assets 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

Note 7A: Land and buildings

Freehold land at fair value 182 272

total land 182 272

Buildings on leasehold land:

- fair value 1,944 2,079

- accumulated depreciation (22) (129)

total buildings on leasehold land 1,922 1,950

Leasehold improvements

- fair value 2,084 1,885

- accumulated depreciation (979) (831)

total leasehold improvements 1,105 1,054

total land and buildings 3,209 3,276

All revaluations are conducted in accordance with the revaluation policy stated at Note 1. In 2012/13, an independent valuer (Australia Valuation Office) conducted the revaluations.

No indicators of impairment were found for land and buildings and leasehold improvements.

No land, buildings or leasehold improvements are expected to be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 7B: Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment:

- fair value 1,062 7,195

- accumulated depreciation - (5,535)

total Property, plant and equipment 1,062 1,660

All revaluations are conducted in accordance with the revaluation policy stated at Note 1. In 2012/13, an independent valuer (Australia Valuation Office) conducted the revaluations.

No indicators of impairment were found for property, plant and equipment.

No property, plant and equipment is expected to be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

Note 7C: Reconciliation of the o pening and Closing Balances of Property, Plant and e quipment 2013

Land $’000

Buildings $’000

Leasehold Improvements $’000

other PP & e $’000

total $’000

As at 1 July 2012

Gross book value 272 2,079 1,885 7,195 11,431

Accumulated depreciation and impairment

- (129) (831) (5,535) (6,495)

Net book value 1 July 2012 272 1,950 1,054 1,660 4,936

Additions - 227 199 284 710

Revaluation and Impairments recognised in other comprehensive income

(57) (180) - 16 (221)

Impairment recognised in the operating result

(33) - - - (33)

Depreciation Expenses - (74) (148) (864) (1,086)

Disposals - - - (34) (34)

Net book value 30 June 2013 182 1,922 1,105 1,062 4,272

Net book value as of 30 June 2013 represented by:

Gross book value 182 1,944 2,084 1,062 5,272

Accumulated depreciation - (22) (979) - (1,001)

182 1,922 1,105 1,062 4,271

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Note 7C: Reconciliation of the o pening and Closing Balances of Property, Plant and e quipment 2012

Land $’000

Buildings $’000

Leasehold Improvements $’000

Other PP & E $’000

Total $’000

As at 1 July 2011

Gross book value 180 1,825 1,804 6,283 10,092

Accumulated depreciation and impairment

- (81) (667) (4,330) (5,078)

Net book value 1 July 2011 180 1,744 1,137 1,953 5,014

Additions 92 254 81 912 1,339

Depreciation expense - (48) (164) (1,205) (1,417)

Disposals

Net book value 30 June 2012 272 1,950 1,054 1,660 4,936

Net book value as of 30 June 2012 represented by:

Gross book value 272 2,079 1,885 7,195 11,431

Accumulated depreciation - (129) (831) (5,535) (6,495)

272 1,950 1,054 1,660 4,936

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 7D: Intangibles

Computer software:

Purchase - 1,296

Accumulated amortisation - (752)

Total intangibles (net) - 544

No indicators of impairment were found for intangible assets.

No intangibles are expected to be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 7e: other Non-Financial assets

Other 4 1

Prepayments 135 16

total other non-financial assets 139 17

All other non-financial assets are expected to be recovered in no more than 12 months.

No indicators of impairment were found for other non-financial assets.

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Note 7F: Reconciliation of the o pening and Closing Balances of Intangibles 2013

Computer software purchased $’000

total $’000

As at 1 July 2012

Gross book value 1,296 1,296

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (752) (752)

Net book value 1 July 2012 544 544

Additions - -

Amortisation expenses (271) (271)

Disposal (273) (273)

Net book value 30 June 2013 - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2013 represented by:

Gross book value - -

Accumulated amortisation and impairment - -

Net book value 30 June 2013 - -

Computer software purchased $’000

Total $’000

As at 1 July 2011

Gross book value 595 595

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (480) (480)

Net book value 1 July 2011 115 115

Additions 701 701

Amortisation (272) (272)

Net book value 30 June 2012 544 544

Net book value as of 30 June 2012 represented by:

Gross book value 1,296 1,296

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (752) (752)

Net book value 30 June 2012 544 544

Note 8: Payables

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 8A: suppliers

Trade creditors and accruals 2,829 2,560

total supplier payables 2,829 2,560

Supplier payables expected to be settled with 12 months

External parties 2,829 2,060

Related parties - 500

total supplier payables 2,829 2,560

Settlement is usually made within 30 days.

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 8B: other Payables

Salaries and wages 599 462

Superannuation 347 156

Other 451 (59)

GST payable to the ATO 0 60

total other payables 1,397 619

Total other payables are expected to be settled in:

No more than 12 months 1,397 619

total other payables 1,397 619

Note 9: Provisions

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 9: employee provisions

Leave 3,266 3,057

total employee provisions 3,266 3,057

Employee provisions are expected to be settled in:

No more than 12 months 2,495 2,403

More than 12 months 771 654

total employee provisions 3,266 3,057

Note 10: Cash Flow Reconciliation 2013 $’0002012 $’000Reconciliation of cash and cash equivalents as per Balance sheet to Cash Flow statementCash and cash equivalents as per:Cash Flow Statement 4,577 19,427 Balance Sheet 4,577 19,427 Difference - -Reconciliation of net cost of services to net cash from operating activities:Net cost of services (43,786) (35,975)Revenue from Government 30,425 32,092 Adjustments for non-cash itemsDepreciation /amortisation 1,357 1,690 (Gain) / Loss on disposal of assets 263 (25)Impairment of PPE 33 -

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 10: Cash Flow Reconciliation (cont’d)

Changes in assets/liabilities

(Increase) / decrease in net receivables (2,506) 8,811

(Increase) / decrease in GST receivables (1,105) 500

(Increase) / decrease in other assets (122) (5)

Increase / (decrease) in other payables 779 (10)

Increase / (decrease) in employee provisions 209 495

Increase / (decrease) in supplier payables 269 204

Net cash from operating activities (14,184) 7,776

Note 11: Contingent Assets and Liabilities Claims for damages or costs

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Contingent Liabilities

Balance from previous period 208 125

New potential liability - 83

total contingent liabilities 208 208

Quantifiable Contingencies

The schedule of contingencies reports contingent liabilities in respect of claims for damages/costs of $208,000 (2012: $208,000). The amount represents an estimate of the Northern Land Council’s liability based on precedent cases. The Council is defending the claims.

Note 12: Directors Remuneration 2013 No. 2012

No.

The number of non-executive directors of the Council included in these figures are shown below in the relevant remuneration bands:

$0 to $29,999 7 6

$30,000 to $59,999 - 1

$60,000 to $89,999 1 1

$180,000 to $209,999 1 1

total 9 9

$ $

Total remuneration received or due and receivable by directors 359,013 387,097

Remuneration of executive directors is included in Note 14: Senior-Executive Remuneration.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 13: Related Party Disclosures The Council Executive Members who held office during the year ended 30 June 2013 were:

Wali Wunungmurra Chairperson

samuel Bush-Blanasi Deputy Chairperson

Bunug Galaminda executive

Dhuwarrwarr Marika executive

Helen Lee executive

Jeffrey Dixon executive

Peter Lansen executive

Bill Risk executive

George King executive

Full Council elections were held in November 2010. The elections are held every three years to elect a new Full Council and Executive Council. The next call for nominations will be held in November 2013. There were no loans made to directors during the year.

Note 14: Senior Executive Remuneration 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

Note 14A: senior executive Remuneration expenses for the Reporting Period:

Short-term employee benefits:

Salary 831,324 1,105,441

Changes in annual leave provisions 8,590 17,479

Performance bonus - -

Total short-term employee benefits 839,914 1,122,920

Post-employment benefits:

Superannuation 106,192 148,187

Total post-employment benefits 106,192 148,187

Other long-term benefits:

Long-service leave (3,399) 34,082

Total other long-term benefits (3,399) 34,082

total 942,707 1,305,189

Notes:

1. Note 14A was prepared on an accrual basis.

2. Note 14A excludes acting arrangements and part-year service where remuneration expensed was less than $180,000.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 14B: Average Annual Reportable Remuneration Paid to s ubstantive s enior executives during the Reporting Period

Average annual reportable remuneration

2013

No. senior executives Reportable salary $

Contributed super $ Reportable Allowances $

Bonus Paid $

total $

total remuneration (including part-time arrangements):

Less than $180,000 4 118,143 14,837 - - 132,980

$180,000 - $209,999 3 172,273 23,523 - - 195,796

$330,000 - $359,999 1 313,401 35,622 1,102 - 350,125

total 8

2012

No. senior executives Reportable salary $

Contributed super $ Reportable Allowances $

Bonus Paid $

total $

total remuneration (including part-time arrangements):

Less than $180,000 1 129,286 19,044 - - 148,330

$180,000 - $209,999 3 169,272 26,902 - - 196,174

$210,000 - $239,999 1 213,497 19,972 - - 233,469

$270,000 - $299,999 1 251,142 28,464 3,699 - 283,305

total 6

Notes:

This table reports on substantive senior executives who received remuneration during the reporting period. Each row is an averaged figure based on headcount for individual in the band.

‘Reportable salary’ includes the following: a) Gross payments (less any bonus paid, which are separated out and disclosed in the ‘bonus paid’ column): b) Reportable fringe benefits (at the net amount prior to ‘grossing up’ to account for tax benefits); and c) Exempt foreign employment income and d) Salary sacrificed benefits.

The ‘contributed superannuation’ amount is the average actual superannuation contributions paid to senior executives in that reportable remuneration band during the reporting period, including any salary sacrificed amounts, as per the individuals’ payslips. ‘Reportable allowances’ are the average actual allowances paid as per the ‘total allowances’ line on individuals’ payment summaries. ‘Bonus paid’ represents average actual bonuses paid during the reporting period in that reportable remuneration band. The ‘bonus paid’ within a particular band may vary between financial years due to various factors such as individuals commencing with or leaving the council during the financial year.

Note 14C: other Highly Paid s taff

There are no other highly paid staff over the relevant thresholds.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 15: Remuneration of Auditors 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

Remuneration to auditors for the reporting period are as follows:

Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) - Statutory audit 62 58

Merit Partners - Grant Audits 23 22

total 85 80

The audit fees above report the costs associated with auditing each financial year. No other services were provided by the Australian National Audit Office.

Note 16: Financial Instruments 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

16A: Categories of financial instruments

Financial Assets

Loans and receivables

Cash and Cash Equivalents 4,577 19,427

Trade and Other Receivables 5,564 3,058

total 10,141 22,485

Carrying amount of financial assets 10,141 22,485

Financial Liabilities

At Amortised Cost

Suppliers 2,829 2,560

Other payables 1,397 559

total 4,226 3,119

Carrying amount of financial liabilities 4,226 3,119

16B: Net income and expense from financial assets

Loans and receivables

Interest revenue 631 653

Net gain/(loss) loans and receivables 631 653

16C: Fair value of financial instruments

The carrying amount of the financial assets and liabilities is a reasonable approximation of fair value due to their short term nature.

16D: Credit risk

The Council is exposed to minimal credit risk as loans and receivables are cash and trade receivables.

The Carrying amount of financial assets recorded in the financial statements, net of any allowances for loses, represents the Council’s maximum exposure to credit risk.

The Council only trades with recognised, creditworthy third parties. Exposure to credit risk is monitored by management on an ongoing basis. The Council holds no collateral to mitigate against credit risk.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Credit quality of financial instruments not past due or individually determined as impaired.

Not Past Due Nor Impaired 2013 $’000

Not Past Due Nor Impaired 2012 $’000

Past due

or impaired 2013 $’000

Past due

or impaired 2012 $’000

Cash and cash equivalents 4,577 19,427 - -

Trade and other receivables 4,664 2,347 2,018 1,356

total 9,241 21,774 2,018 1,356

Ageing of financial assets that are past due but not impaired for 2013

0 to 30 days $’000 31 to 60 days $’000

61 to 90 days $’000

90+ days $’000

total $’000

Trade and other receivables 408 1 212 279 900

total 408 1 212 279 900

Ageing of financial assets that are past due but not impaired for 2012

0 to 30 days $’000 31 to 60 days $’000

61 to 90 days $’000

90+ days $’000

total $’000

Trade and other receivables 248 15 98 350 711

total 248 15 98 350 711

16e: Liquidity risk

The Northern Land Council’s financial liabilities are payables. The exposure of liquidity risk is based on the notion that the Northern Land Council will encounter difficulty in meeting its obligations associated with financial liabilities. This is highly unlikely due to grants and funding available and internal policies and procedures put in place to ensure there are appropriate resources to meet its financial obligations. The Council had no derivative financial liabilities in either the current or prior year.

Maturities for financial liabilities

2013 within 1 year $’000 2012 within 1 year $’000

trade creditors 2,829 2,560

other payables 1,397 559

16F: Market Risk

The Council held basic financial instruments that did not expose the Council to certain market risks.

The Northern Land Council is not exposed to ‘currency risk’ or ‘other price risk’.

Interest rate risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate because of changes in interest rates. The Council’s exposure to the risk of changes in market rates relates primarily to cash at bank and short term deposits. The Council manages its interest rate risk by maintaining floating rate cash.

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

16G: Financial Assets Reconciliation

Financial assets: Notes:

Total financial assets as per balance sheet 11,219 22,458

Less: Non-financial instrument components (27)

Other Receivables 6B 1,078 (27)

Total non-financial instrument components 1,078 (27)

total financial instrument components 10,141, 22,485

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 17: Assets Held in Trust Monetary Assets

The Northern Land Council maintains a Royalty Trust Account. Monies received on behalf of Associations of Aboriginal people and individuals, in accordance, with Section 35 of the ALR (NT ) Act, are held in the royalty trust account, and are distributed in accordance with the requirement of ALR(NT ) Act. These monies are not available for other purposes of the Northern Land Council, and are not recognised in the financial statements.

Non-monetary Assets

The Council had no non-monetary assets held in trust in both the current and prior reporting periods.

Royalty t rust Account - Monetary Asset

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

total amount held at the beginning of the reporting period 20,237 22,006

Add ReCeIPts

Subsection 64(3) statutory royalty equivalents 6,783 7,824

Sections 42, 43, and 44 negotiated monies 18,542 14,372

Sections 15, 16, and 19 rental and lease monies 38,479 4,356

Section 12 Monies 2,582 2,845

Native Title Income 3,478 2,922

Other Royalties Monies (145) 204

Interest received 878 853

70,597 33,376

Less PAYMeNts

Royalties Distribution Payments (33,964) (35,144)

Fees & Charges - (2)

(33,964) (35,146)

total amount held at the e nd of the reporting period 56,870 20,237

The reporting requirements for the ALR(NT ) Act, 1976 are detailed in section 37(3)-(5), and refer to the application of monies received by the Northern Land Council under various sections of the Act. In particular under subsection 64(3).

Receipts under section 64(3), as referred in section 35(3):

Opening balance 941 587

Funds received 6,783 7,824

Funds distributed to the following association:

Gumatj Aboriginal Corporation (2,085) (2,486)

Rirratjingu Associations Incorporated (642) (765)

Laynhapuy Associations Incorporated (738) (905)

Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (3,593) (3,314)

Funds waiting distribution (666) (941)

Closing balance - -

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 18: Aboriginals Benefit Account Appropriations

Note 18A: Aboriginals Benefit Account Appropriations

2012/13

ABA Approved estimates $000’s

2012/13 ABA Actual $000’s

2012/13

ABA variance $000’s

Surplus/(Deficit) as at 30 June 2012 (747)

Income

ABA

S64(1) 18,597 18,597 100%

total ABA income 18,597 18,597 100%

other

Recoveries - 1,847 0%

Other Activity Generated Income - 683 0%

Interest 100 78 78%

Sale of Equipment 197 44 22%

total other 297 2,652 893%

total Income 18,894 21,249 112%

expenditure

Salaries 10,339 11,087 107%

Operating 7,320 10,348 141%

Capital 1,235 82 7%

total expenditure 18,894 21,517 114%

Balance to be carried forward 853

ABA surplus (deficit) as at 30 June 2013 (1,868)

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 18B: ABA special Purpose Grant: Funeral and Ceremonial Activities

2010/11 Actual $

2011/12 Actual $

2012/13 Actual $

total Actual $

Income

Aboriginals Benefit Account - 500,000 500,000 1,000,000

Recoveries 1,231 - 2,980 4,211

total Income 1,231 500,000 502,980 1,004,211

expenditure

Borroloola/Barkly Region 5,126 40,933 64,429 110,488

Darwin/Daly Region 16,039 131,425 212,689 360,153

Jabiru Region 15,304 118,418 182,395 316,117

Katherine Region 19,542 97,477 80,050 197,069

Ngukurr Region 7,964 45,551 29,091 82,606

Nhulunbuy Region 16,443 154,743 135,477 306,664

Tennant Creek 2,054 13,325 33,747 49,126

Timber Creek ( VRD) Region 6,706 28,932 33,962 69,600

Administration 77 1,833 3,653 5,563

total expenditure 89,255 632,637 775,493 1,497,386

Commitments - -

surplus (Deficit) (88,024) (132,637) (272,513) (493,175)

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 18C: ABA top end Land and sea Management Program - s64

Approved Budget

operating $ Capital 2009/2010 Actual

$

2010/2011 Actual $

2011/2012 Actual $

2012/2013 Actual $

total Actual $

Income

Income 3,565,584 2,995,416 2,278,812 1,286,772 - 870,000 4,435,584

Recoveries - - - 6,600 37,270 43,870

total Income 3,565,584 2,995,416 2,278,812 1,293,372 37,270 870,000 4,479,454

expenditure

Acacia Larrakia Ranger Group 123,760 - 45,425 49,571 21,153 - 116,149

Adjumarllarl Ranger Group 113,010 - 17,376 55,656 39,851 - 112,883

SE Arafura/Gurrwiling Ranger Group 300,000 - 50,877 141,455 16,306 - 208,637

Asyrikarrak Kirim Ranger Group 107,360 - 44,165 42,881 72,282 - 159,328

Warramunburr Ranger Group 61,865 - 984 57,709 706 - 59,400

Bulgul Ranger Group 176,735 - 70,282 50,259 43,200 - 163,741

Garawa & Waanyi Ranger Group 195,365 - 62,374 113,846 65,109 - 241,329

Garngi Ranger Group 173,675 - 58,638 43,463 34,032 - 136,133

Malak Malak Ranger Group 105,264 - 53,949 13,735 15,618 - 83,302

Mardbalk Ranger Group 210,395 - 150,050 31,916 17,443 - 199,409

Gumurr Marthakal Ranger Group 234,645 - 161,536 30,225 - - 191,761

Mimal Ranger Group 147,045 - 34,944 59,590 63,569 - 158,103

Minyerri Ranger Group - - - - - - -

Numbulwar Ranger Group 149,790 - 2,461 19,186 23,137 - 44,784

Timber Creek Ranger Group 122,200 - 25,885 56,723 34,438 - 117,045

Wagiman Guwardagun Ranger Group 214,755 - 89,875 50,748 25,264 - 165,887

Wanga Djakamirr Ranger Group 121,585 - 46,652 22,667 50,246 - 119,566

Weret Ranger Group 76,838 - 51,292 20,897 1,118 - 73,308

Wudicupildiyerr Ranger Group 180,260 - 50,973 47,946 29,905 - 128,824

Yugal Mangi Ranger Group 272,313 - 113,062 98,994 66,357 - 278,414

Infrastructure Budget 2,995,416 - - 422,018 - 422,018

Kenbi (Belyuen) 100,000 - - 18,168 275,954 294,122

Bagala 200,000 - - 124,803 - 124,803

Administration/Project Mgmt-NLC 178,724 20,809 172,546 491,146 - 684,501

total expenditure 3,565,584 2,995,416 1,151,608 1,180,013 1,675,870 275,954 4,283,447

Commitments

surplus (Deficit) - - 1,127,204 113,359 (1,638,600) 275,954 196,607

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 18D: ABA - Feasibility study - Warruwi Culture Centre

2010/2011 Actual $

2011/2012 Actual $

2012/2013 Actual $

total

Actual $

Income

Income 45,755 (10,317) 35,438

Total Income 45,755 (10,317) 35,438

expenditure

Staff Travel 7,959 1,998 - 9,957

Catering 31 - - 31

Audit & Acct. Fees - 773 - 773

Telephone & Fax - - - -

Consultants Other 12,000 12,000 - 24,000

Minor Equipment Purchases - - - -

R&M Equipment - - - -

Community Relations - - - -

Members Travel 407 270 - 677

total expenditure 20,397 15,041 - 35,438

Commitments

surplus (Deficit) 25,358 (15,041) (10,317) -

Note 18e: ABA - 2011 Women’s Law and Culture Conference

2010/2011 Actual $

2011/2012 Actual $

2012/2013 Actual $

total

Actual $

Income

Income 250,000 - 250,000

total Income 250,000 - 250,000

expenditure

Salaries & Oncosts - 39,485 13,986 53,471

Staff Travel & Accommodation - 19,880 46,452 66,332

Motor Vehicle Expenses - 17,800 45,834 63,634

Audit & Acct. Fees - 2,703 2,703

Catering - 11,745 2,611 14,356

Minor Equipment Purchases - 7,297 6,753 14,050

Community Relations - 78,209 13,798 92,007

Camping & Other Field Consumables - 1,492 - 1,492

Training cost - 140 2,377 2,517

total expenditure - 176,048 134,514 310,562

Commitments

surplus (Deficit) 250,000 (176,048) (134,514) (60,562)

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 18F: ABA - Banka Banka West Land Use Consultancy

2010/2011 Actual $

2011/2012 Actual $

2012/2013 Actual $

total

Actual $

Income

Income 50,000 - 50,000

total Income 50,000 - 50,000

expenditure

Salaries & Oncosts - - 638 638

Staff Travel & Accommodation - - 2,033 2,033

Motor Vehicle Expenses - - 2,112 2,112

Audit & Acct. Fees 1,350 1,350

Catering - - 2,713 2,713

Minor Equipment Purchases - - 2,060 2,060

Consultants Other - - 32,267 32,267

Advertisement - 1,427 - 1,427

Staff Amenities - - 210 210

Administration - - 5,189 5,189

total expenditure - 1,427 48,572 49,999

surplus (Deficit) 50,000 (1,427) (48,572) -

Note 18G: ABA - Women’s Law and Culture Activities

2009/2010 Actual $

2010/2011 Actual $

2011/2012 Actual $

2012/2013 Actual $

total

Actual $

Income

Income 100,000 - - 100,000

total Income 100,000 - - 100,000

expenditure

Salaries & Oncosts 5,208 - - - 5,208

Staff Travel Cost 8,893 - - 36,707 45,600

Motor Vehicle Expenses 3,521 - - 3,059 6,580

Catering 2,110 73 - - 2,183

Audit & Acct. Fees - - - - -

Telephone & Fax - - - - -

Conferences & Seminars - - - - -

Advertisement - - - - -

Minor Equipment Purchases 327 102 - - 429

Community Relations 40,000 - - - 40,000

total expenditure 60,059 175 39,766 100,000

Commitments

surplus (Deficit) 39,941 (175) - (39,766) -

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Note 18H: ABA - Healthy Country Healthy People - s ugar Bag Business

2008/2009 Actual $ 2009/2010 Actual $

2010/2011 Actual $ 2011/2012 Actual $

2012/2013 Actual $

total

Actual $

Income

Income 55,241 3 ,259 - - (11,062) 47,438

total Income 55,241 3 ,259 - - (11,062) 47,438

expenditure

Motor Vehicle Expenses - 37 - - - 37

Staff Travel 523 5,703 - - - 6,226

Catering - 1,590 - - - 1,590

Audit & Acct. Fees 2,100 - 1,000 - - 3,100

Telephone & Fax 30 60 - - - 90

General Hire - 2,128 - - - 2,128

Minor Equipment Purchases 24,724 4,613 1,091 - - 30,428

Freight 1,072 - - - - 1,072

R&M Equipment 312 - - - - 312

Community Relations - 2,455 - - - 2,455

total expenditure 28,761 16,586 2,091 - - 47,438

Commitments

surplus (Deficit) 26,480 (13,327) (2,091) - (11,062) -

Note 18I: ABA - Construct a cultural display t juwaliyn (Douglas) Hot springs

2012/2013 Actual $

total

Actual $

Income

Income 10,000 10,000

total Income 10,000 10,000

expenditure

Motor Vehicle Expenses - -

Staff Travel - -

Audit & Acct. Fees 800 800

Telephone & Fax - -

Consultants Other 7,000 7,000

Minor Equipment Purchases - -

R&M Equipment - -

total expenditure 7,800 7,800

surplus (Deficit) 2,200 2,200

Financial Reporting: Native Title

Photo 82: Native flora being protected by traditional fire management practices.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Northern Land Council Native Title Representative Body 2012/2013 Annual Financial Report Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (CAC) Act & Native Title Act

Contents Statement by Directors, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer 208

Statement of Comprehensive Income 209

Balance Sheet 210

Statement of Changes In Equity 211

Cash Flow Statement 211

Schedule of Commitments 212

Schedule of Contingencies 213

Note 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies 213

Note 2: Events After the Reporting Period 220

Note 3: Expenses 220

Note 4: Income 222

Note 5: Financial Assets 222

Note 6: Non-Financial Assets 224

Note 7: Payables 226

Note 8: Provisions 227

Note 9: Cash Flow Reconciliation 227

Note 10: Contingent Assets & Liabilities 228

Note 11: Directors and Senior Executive Remuneration 228

Note 12: Remuneration of Auditors 228

Note 13: Average Staffing Levels 228

Note 14: Financial Instruments 229

Note 15: FaHCSIA Grant: Native Title Representative Services 230

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Northern Land Council— Native Title Representative Body Statement by Directors, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer

Signed:

................................................................

Samuel Bush-Blanasi Chairperson

Signed:

................................................................

Robert Graham Acting Chief Executive Officer

Signed:

................................................................

John Daly Deputy Chairperson

Signed:

................................................................

Steven Lawrence Acting General Manager Corporate Compliance

The Northern Land Council (NLC) is a Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) as prescribed in the Native Title Act 1993 and a land council under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. Since being recognised as an NTRB, the NLC has performed the functions of the NTRB in association with other NLC functions.

While separate books and records are not maintained by the NLC for the NTRB, the revenue and expenditure is recorded as separate cost centres within the NLC financial books and records for the current year and assets and liabilities have been able to be separately identified as detailed in note 1.

In our opinion, the attached financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2013 are based on properly maintained financial records accurately extracted from the NLC financial information and give a true and fair view of the matters required by the Finance Minister’s Orders made under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 as amended.

In our opinion, at the date of this statement, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Body will be able to pay its debts as and when they become due and payable.

This Statement is made in accordance with a resolution of the directors.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Statement of Comprehensive Income For the year ended 30 June 2013

Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

EXPENSES

Employee benefits 3A 2,819 2,210

Supplier 3B 2,387 2,359

Write down and impairment of asset 3C 329 40

Depreciation and amortisation 3D - -

Total Expenses 5,535 4,609

LESS: OWN-SOURCE INCOME

Own-source revenue

Sale of goods and rendering of services 4A 1,308 508

Interest 4B 49 135

Total own-source revenue 1,357 643

Net cost of services 4,178 3,966

Revenue from Government 4C 3,666 3,969

Surplus (Deficit) on continuing operations (512) 3

Total comprehensive income (loss) (512) 3

Total comprehensive income attributable to the Australian Government (512) 3

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Balance Sheet As at 30 June 2013

Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

ASSETS

Financial Assets

Cash and cash equivalents 5A 924 1,228

Trade and other receivables 5B 88 210

Total financial assets 1,012 1,438

Non-Financial Assets

Infrastructure, plant and equipment 6A, 6C - -

Intangibles 6B, 6C - -

Total non-financial assets - -

Total Assets 1,012 1,438

LIABILITIES

Payables

Inter-entity payable 7A 420 502

Other 7B 88 76

Total payables 508 578

Provisions

Employee provisions 8A 405 249

Total provisions 405 249

Total Liabilities 913 827

Net Assets 99 611

EQUITY

Retained surplus 99 611

Total Equity 99 611

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Statement of Changes In Equity For the period ended 30 June 2013

Retained Earnings Total Equity

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Opening balance

Balance carried forward from previous period Adjusted opening balance 611 608 611 608

Comprehensive Income

Surplus (Deficit) for the year (512) 3 (512) 3

Total Comprehensive Income (512) 3 (512) 3

Closing Balance at 30 June 99 611 99 611

Cash Flow Statement For the period ended 30 June 2013

Notes 2013

$’000

2012 $’000

OPERATING ACTIVITIES

Cash received

Receipts from Government 4,033 4,366

Sale of Goods and rendering of services 1,232 290

Interest 49 135

Total cash received 5,314 4,791

Cash used

Employees (2,663) (2,176)

Suppliers (2,696) (2,275)

Net GST paid (259) (217)

Total cash used (5,618) (4,667)

Net cash from (used by) Operating Activities 9A (304) 124

Net increase (decrease) in cash held (304) 124

Cash at the beginning of the reporting period 1,228 1,104

Cash at the end of the reporting period 5A 924 1,228

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Schedule of Commitments As at 30 June 2013

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

BY TYPE

Commitments Receivable

Net GST recoverable on commitments (26) (15)

Total Commitments Receivable (26) (15)

Commitment Payable

Other commitments

Operating Leases 287 164

Total other commitments 287 164

Net commitments by type 261 149

BY MATURITY

Commitments receivable

Other commitments receivable

One year or less (26) (15)

Total other commitments receivable (26) (15)

Commitments payable

Other commitments

One year or less 287 164

Total other commitments 287 164

Net commitments by maturity 261 149

Note: Commitments are GST inclusive where relevant.

The nature of operational commitments are various goods & services ordered and not yet received.

This schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Schedule of Contingencies As at 30 June 2013

There are no contingent liabilities for the 2012/13 year. (No contingent liabilities in 2011/12).

Note 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies 1.1 Overview The Northern Land Council (NLC) is a Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) as prescribed in the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 and a Land Council under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. Since being recognised as an NTRB, the NLC has performed the functions of the NTRB in association with other NLC functions. The NLC has reporting requirements specified in the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 , Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (schedule 1) and Finance Minister’s Orders. It is a not-for-profit entity.

The NTRB is dependent on the continued release of these funds for its continued existence and ability to carry out its normal activities. The funding conditions of the NTRB are laid down by the Native Title Act, and any special purpose grant guidelines. Accounting for monies received from FaHCSIA is subject to conditions approved by the Land Rights Branch.

1.2 Basis of Preparation of the Financial Report The financial report of the Northern Land Council as a NTRB is required by clause 1 (b) of schedule 1 to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act and Section 203DC (4) of the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 and is a general purpose financial report.

The statements have been prepared in accordance with: » Finance Minister’s Orders (FMOs) being the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Orders (financial statements for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2011);

» Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.

The NLC has prepared the statement of comprehensive income, balance sheet and cash flow statement applicable to the NTRB operation and function. All NTRB account balances have been identified from within the NLC financial information and accurately extracted from the NLC accounts, representing the completeness and existence of all assets and liabilities of the NTRB. The NLC maintains an NTRB revenue and expenditure cost centre and the statement of comprehensive income is a complete and accurate record of NTRB revenue and expenditure.

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The NTRB financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the results or the financial position.

The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and all values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.

Unless an alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard or the FMO’s, assets and liabilities are recognised in the NTRB balance sheet when and only when it is probable that future economic benefits will flow and the amounts of the assets or liabilities can be reliably measured. However, assets and liabilities arising under executor contracts are not recognised unless required by an accounting standard. Liabilities and assets that are unrecognised are reported in the Schedule of Commitments and the Schedule of Contingencies.

Unless alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard, income and expenses are recognised in the NTRB statement of comprehensive income when and only when the flow or consumption or loss of economic benefits has occurred and can be reliably measured.

1.3 Significant Accounting Judgements and Estimates No accounting assumptions or estimates have been identified that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next accounting period.

1.4 New Accounting Standards

Adoption of New Australian Accounting Standard Requirements

No accounting standard has been adopted earlier than the application date as stated in the standard. New standards, revised standards, interpretations, amending statements that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the current reporting period did not have a financial impact, are not expected to have a future financial impact on the Northern Land Council as a NTRB.

Future Australian Accounting Standard Requirements

New standards, revised standards, interpretations, amending standards that were issued prior to the sign-off date and are applicable to the future reporting period are not expected to have a future financial impact on the entity.

1.5 Revenue Revenue from the sale of goods is recognised when: a) the risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the buyer; b) the Northern Land Council as a NTRB retains no managerial involvement or effective

control over the goods;

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c) the revenue and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and d) it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the NTRB.

Revenue from rendering of services is recognised by reference to the stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date. The revenue is recognised when: a) the amount of revenue, stage of completion and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and

b) the probable economic benefits with the transaction will flow to the entity.

The stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date is determined by reference to the proportion that costs incurred to date bear to the estimated total costs of the transaction.

Receivables for goods and services, which have 30 day terms, are recognised at the nominal amounts due less any impairment allowance account. Collectability of debts is reviewed as at the end of the reporting period. Allowances are made when collectability of the debt is no longer probable.

Interest revenue is recognised using the effective interest method as set out in AASB 139 Financial Instruments: recognition and Measurement.

Revenues from Government

Funding received or receivable is recognised as Revenue from Government when the entity gains control of the appropriation, except for certain amounts that relate to activities that are reciprocal in nature, in which case revenue is recognised only when it is earned.

1.6 Gains

Resources Received Free of Charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised as gains when and only when a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense.

Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.

Contributions of assets at no cost of acquisition or for nominal consideration are recognised as gains at their fair value when the asset qualifies for recognition, unless received from another Government entity as a consequence of a restructuring of administrative arrangements.

Sale of Assets

Gains from disposal of non-current assets are recognised when control of the asset has passed to the buyer.

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1.7 Employee Benefits Liabilities for ‘short-term employee benefits’ (as defined in AASB 119 Employee Benefits ) and termination benefits due within twelve months are measured at their nominal amounts

The nominal amount is calculated with regard to the rates expected to be paid on settlement of the liability.

Leave

The liability for employee benefits includes provisions for annual leave and long service leave. No provision has been made for sick leave as all sick leave is non-vesting and the average sick leave taken in future years by employees of the NTRB is estimated to be less then the annual entitlement for sick leave.

The leave liabilities are calculated on the basis of employees’ remuneration at the estimated salary rates that will be applied at the time the leave is taken, including the NTRB’s employer superannuation contribution rates to the extent that the leave is likely to be taken during service rather than paid out on termination.

The estimate of the present value of the long service leave liability takes into attrition rates and pay increases through promotion and inflation.

Separation and Redundancy

Provision is made for separation and redundancy benefit payments. The NTRB recognises a provision for termination when it has developed a detailed formal plan for the terminations and has informed those employees affected that it will carry out the terminations.

Superannuation

The majority of NTRB’s staff are members of the MLC Superannuation Scheme and MLC Limited plan for casual employees. The NLC/NTRB complies with the requirements of the superannuation choice legislation. All superannuation contributions are to defined contribution plans. The liability for superannuation recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding contributions.

The liability for superannuation recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding contributions for the final fortnight of the year.

1.8 Leases A distinction is made between finance leases and operating leases. Finance leases effectively transfer from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of leased assets. An operating lease is a lease that is not a finance lease. In operating leases, the lessor effectively retains substantially all such risks and benefits.

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Operating lease payments are expensed on a straight-line basis which is representative of the pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets.

1.9 Cash

Cash is recognised at its nominal amount. Cash and cash equivalents include: a) cash on hand; and b) demand deposits in bank accounts with an original maturity of 3 months or less that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and subject to insignificant risk of

changes in value.

NTRB cash is received into the NTRB bank account. All payments are made from the NLC operating account. On a regular basis the funds are transferred from the NTRB bank account to the NLC operating account for the value of payments on behalf of the NTRB.

1.10 Financial Assets The NTRB classifies its financial assets in the following categories: a) ‘loans and receivables’.

The classification depends on the nature and purpose of the financial assets and is determined at the time of initial recognition. Financial assets are recognised and derecognised upon trade date.

Loans and Receivables

Trade receivables, loans and other receivables that have fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted on an active market are classified as ‘loans and receivables’. Loans and receivables are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method less impairment. Interest is recognised by applying the effective interest rate.

Impairment of Financial Assets

Financial assets are assessed for impairment at each reporting period.

Financial assets held at amortised cost—if there is objective evidence that an impairment loss has been incurred for loans and receivables or held to maturity investments held at amortised cost, the amount of the loss is measured as the difference between the asset’s carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows discounted at the asset’s original effective interest rate. The carrying amount is reduced by way of an allowance account. The loss is recognised in the statement of comprehensive income.

1.11 Financial Liabilities Financial liabilities are classified as either financial liabilities ‘at fair value through profit or loss’ or other financial liabilities. Financial liabilities are recognised and derecognised upon ‘trade date’.

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Other financial liabilities

Other financial liabilities, including borrowings, are initially measured at fair value, net of transaction costs. These liabilities are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, with interest expense recognised on an effective yield basis.

The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial liability and of allocating interest expense over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments through the expected life of the financial liability, or, where appropriate, a shorter period.

Supplier and other payables are recognised at amortised cost. Liabilities are recognised to the extent that the goods or services have been received (and irrespective of having been invoiced).

1.12 Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets Contingent liabilities and contingent assets are not recognised in the balance sheet but are reported in the relevant schedules and notes. They may arise from uncertainty as to the existence of a liability or asset or represent an asset or liability in respect of which the amount cannot be reliably measured. Contingent assets are disclosed when settlement is probable but not virtually certain and contingent liabilities are disclosed when settlement is greater than remote.

1.13 Acquisition of Assets Assets are recorded at cost on acquisition except as stated below. The cost of acquisition includes the fair value of assets transferred in exchange and liabilities undertaken. Financial assets are initially measured at their fair value plus transaction costs where appropriate.

Assets acquired at no cost, or for nominal consideration, are initially recognised as assets and income at their fair value at the date of acquisition, unless acquired as a consequence of restructuring of administrative arrangements. In the latter case, assets are initially recognised as contributions by owners at the amounts at which they were recognised in the transferor’s accounts immediately prior to the restructuring.

1.14 Property (Land, Buildings and Infrastructure), Plant and Equipment

Asset Recognition Threshold

Purchases of property, plant and equipment are recognised initially at cost in the balance sheet, except for purchases costing less than the capitalisation threshold, which are expensed in the year of acquisition. The capitalisation thresholds values are: » Furniture and equipment $5,000

» Information technology (hardware) $5,000 » Information technology (software) $5,000 » Motor vehicles $10,000

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Revaluations

Fair values for each class of asset are determined as shown below:

Asset Class Fair value measurement

Other Property Plant and Equipment Market selling price

Following initial recognition at cost, property plant and equipment were carried at fair value less subsequent accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Valuations were conducted with sufficient frequency to ensure that the carrying amounts of assets did not differ materially from the assets’ fair values as at the reporting date. The regularity of independent valuations depended upon the volatility of movements in market values for the relevant assets.

Revaluation adjustments were made on a class basis. Any revaluation increment was credited to equity under the heading of asset revaluation reserve except to the extent that it reversed a previous revaluation decrement of the same asset class that was previously recognised in the surplus/deficit. Revaluation decrements for a class of assets were recognised directly in the surplus/deficit except to the extent that they reversed a previous revaluation increment for that class.

Any accumulated depreciation as at the revaluation date is eliminated against the gross carrying amount of the asset and the asset restated to the devalued amount.

Depreciation

Depreciable property, plant and equipment assets are written-off to their estimated residual values over their estimated useful lives to the NTRB using, in all cases, the straight-line method of depreciation.

Depreciation rates (useful lives), residual value and methods are reviewed at each reporting balance date and necessary adjustments are recognised in the current, or current and future reporting periods, as appropriate.

Depreciation rates applying to each class of depreciable asset are based on the following useful lives: 2013 2012

Furniture & equipment 3-5 years 3-5 years

Motor vehicles & other plant 3-5 years 3-5 years

Impairment

All assets were assessed for impairment at 30 June 2013. Where indications of impairment exist, the asset’s recoverable amount is estimated and an impairment adjustment made if the asset’s recoverable amount is less than its carrying amount.

The recoverable amount of an asset is the higher of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. Value in use is the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from the asset. Where the future economic benefit of an asset is not primarily dependent on the asset’s ability to generate future cash flows, and the asset would be replaced if the Northern Land Council were deprived of the asset, its value in use is taken to be its depreciated replacement cost.

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1.15 Intangibles The NTBR’s intangibles comprise internally developed software for internal use. These assets are carried at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses.

Software is amortised on a straight-line basis over its anticipated useful life. The useful life of software is 3 years.

All software assets were assessed for indications of impairment as at 30 June 2013.

1.16 Taxation / Competitive Neutrality The NTRB is exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Revenues, expenses and assets are recognised net of GST except: » where the amount of GST incurred is not recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office;

and

» for receivables and payables.

Competitive Neutrality

The NTRB does not provide any services on a for-profit basis. Under Competitive Neutrality arrangements, the NTRB is not required to pay Australian Income Tax Equivalent payments to the Government.

Note 2: Events After the Reporting Period There are no events that have occurred after reporting date that have been brought to account in the 2012/13 Financial Report.

Note 3: Expenses

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 3A: Employee Benefits

Wages and salaries 2,356 1,842

Superannuation 256 212

Leave and other entitlement 207 156

Total employee benefits 2,819 2,210

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 3B: Suppliers

Goods and Services

Consultants 1,017 1,040

Stationery 33 20

Travel 617 537

Vehicle 156 198

Training 46 31

IT/Communications 89 84

Other 360 382

Total Goods & Services 2,318 2,292

Goods & services are made up of:

Provision of goods - external entities 316 304

Rendering of services - external entities 2,002 1,988

Total Goods & Services 2,318 2,292

Other supplier expenses

Operating lease rentals:

Minimum lease payments 69 67

Total other supplier expenses 69 67

Total suppliers expenses 2,387 2,359

Note 3C: Write-Down and Impairment of Assets

Asset write-downs and impairment from:

Goods & Services Receivable 329 40

Total write-down and impairment of assets 329 40

Note 3D: Depreciation and amortisation

Depreciation:

Property, plant and equipment - -

Total depreciation - -

Amortisation:

Computer software - -

Total amortisation - -

Total depreciation and amortisation - -

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Note 4: Income

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

OWN SOURCE REVENUE

Note 4A: Sale of goods and rendering of services

Rendering of services - external entities 1,308 508

Total sale of goods and rendering of services 1,308 508

Note 4B: Interest

Deposits 49 135

Total interest 49 135

REVENUE FROM GOVERNMENT

Note 4C: Revenue from Government

Revenue from Government:

FaHCSIA Grant - Native Title Representative Body 3,666 3,969

Total revenue from Government 3,666 3,969

Note 5: Financial Assets

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 5A: Cash and cash equivalents

Cash on deposit 924 1,228

Total cash and cash equivalents 924 1,228

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2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 5B: Trade and other receivables

Goods and Services

Goods and Services - external parties 487 280

Total receivables for goods and services 487 280

Less impairment allowance account:

Goods and Services Receivables (399) (70)

Total impairment allowance account (399) (70)

Total trade and other receivables (net) 88 210

Receivable are expected to be recovered in:

No more than 12 months 88 210

More than 12 months - -

Total trade and other receivables (net) 88 210

Receivables are aged as follows:

Not overdue 74 180

Overdue by:

Less than 30 days - -

30 to 60 days - -

61 to 90 days - -

More than 90 days 413 100

Total receivables (gross) 487 280

The impairment allowance account is aged as follows:

Not overdue (61) -

Overdue by:

Less than 30 days - -

30 to 60 days - -

61 to 90 days - -

More than 90 days (338) (70)

Total impairment allowance account (399) (70)

Reconciliation of the impairment allowance account:

Movements in relation to 2013 Goods and services

2013 $’000

Total 2013 $’000

Opening balance 70 70

Increase/decrease recognised in net surplus 329 329

Closing balance 399 399

Movements in relation to 2012 Goods and services

2012 $’000

Total 2012 $’000

Opening balance 30 30

Increase/decrease recognised in net surplus 40 40

Closing balance 70 70

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Note 6: Non-Financial Assets 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

Note 6A: Infrastructure, plant and equipment

Office Equipment and Furniture (OE & F)

Gross book value - 7

Accumulated depreciation - (7)

Total office equipment & furniture - -

IT Equipment

Gross book value - 96

Accumulated depreciation - (96)

Total IT Equipment - -

Total infrastructure, plant & equipment - -

No indicators of impairment were found for infrastructure, plant & equipment.

Note 6B - Intangibles

Computer Software

Gross book value - 9

Accumulated depreciation - (9)

Total computer software - -

Total intangibles - -

No indicators of impairment were found for intangibles assets.

Note 6C: Analysis of infrastructure, plant and equipment

TABLE A - Reconciliation of the opening and closing balances of property, plant and equipment (2012/13)

Office equipment and furniture $000’s

IT Equipment $000’s

Total $000’s

As at 1 July 2012

Gross book value 7 96 103

Accumulated depreciation and impairment (7) (96) (103)

Net book value 1 July 2012 - - -

Addition:

Other movements - - -

Net book value 30 June 2013 - - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2013 represented by:

Gross book value - - -

Accumulated depreciation and impairment - - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2013 - - -

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TABLE A - Reconciliation of the opening and closing balances of software (2012/13)

Software $000’s

Total $000’s

As at 1 July 2012

Gross book value 9 9

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (9) (9)

Net book value 1 July 2012 - -

Addition:

Other movements - -

Net book value 30 June 2013 - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2013 represented by:

Gross book value - -

Accumulated amortisation and impairment - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2013 - -

Note 6C: Analysis of infrastructure, plant and equipment

TABLE A - Reconciliation of the opening and closing balances of property, plant and equipment (2011/12)

Office equipment and furniture $000’s

IT Equipment $000’s

Total $000’s

As at 1 July 2011

Gross book value 7 96 103

Accumulated depreciation and impairment (7) (96) (103)

Net book value 1 July 2011 - - -

Addition:

Depreciation/amortisation expense - - -

Other movements (give details below) - - -

Net book value 30 June 2012 - - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2012 represented by:

Gross book value 7 96 103

Accumulated depreciation/amortisation and impairment (7) (96) (103)

Net book value as at 30 June 2012 - - -

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TABLE A - Reconciliation of the opening and closing balances of software (2011/12)

Software $000’s

Total $000’s

As at 1 July 2011

Gross book value 9 9

Accumulated depreciation/amortisation and impairment (9) (9)

Net book value 1 July 2011 - -

Addition:

Depreciation/amortisation expense - -

Net book value 30 June 2012 - -

Net book value as of 30 June 2012 represented by:

Gross book value 9 9

Accumulated depreciation/amortisation and impairment (9) (9)

Net book value as of 30 June 2012 - -

Note 7: Payables

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 7A: Inter-entity Payable

Payable to NLC 420 502

Note 7B: Other Payables

Trade Payables 5 7

Salary and wages 53 52

Accruals 30 17

88 76

Inter-entity and other payables are expected to be settled in:

No more than 12 months 508 578

More than 12 months -

Inter-entity and other payables 508 578

Settlement was usually made within 30 days.

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Note 8: Provisions

2013 $’000

2012 $’000

Note 8A: Employee Provisions

Annual leave 242 151

Long service leave 163 98

Total employee provisions 405 249

Employee provisions are expected to be settled in:

No more than 12 months 261 169

More than 12 month 144 80

Total employee provisions 405 249

Note 9: Cash Flow Reconciliation 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

Note 9A: Cash Flow Reconciliation

Reconciliation of cash and cash equivalents as per Balance Sheet to Cash Flow Statement

Cash and cash equivalents as per:

Cash Flow Statement 924 1,228

Balance Sheet 924 1,228

Difference - -

Reconciliation of net cost of services to net cash from operating activities:

Net cost of services (4,178) (3,966)

Add revenue from Government 3,666 3,969

Changes in assets/liabilities

(Increase) / decrease in net receivables 122 (204)

Increase / (decrease) in employee provisions 156 34

Increase / (decrease) in inter-entity payables (81) 319

Increase / (decrease) in other payables 11 (28)

Net cash from (used by) operating activities (304) 124

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Note 10: Contingent Assets and Liabilities Quantifiable Contingencies The Northern Land Council as NTRB has undertaken an assessment of the reasonable potential liability arising out of litigation to which the NTRB is a party. As at 30 June 2013 the potential liability has been assessed as nil (no contingent liabilities in 2011/12).

Note 11: Directors and Senior Executive Remuneration There were no director or executive remuneration payments made during the period with NTRB monies.

Note 12: Remuneration of Auditors 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

Financial statement audit services provided to the Northern Land Council in regard to NTRB by the Australian National Audit Office:

Fair value of the Services provided

Financial statement audit services 9 8

Total 9 8

No other services were provided by the Auditor of the financial Statements.

Note 13: Average Staffing Levels 2013 2012

The average staffing levels for the Authority during the year were: 27 24

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Note 14: Financial Instruments 2013 $’000 2012

$’000

14A: Categories of financial instruments

Financial Assets

Loans and receivables

Cash on deposit 924 1,228

Trade and other receivables 88 210

Total Carrying amount of financial assets 1,012 1,438

Financial Liabilities

Amortised Cost

Inter-entity payable 420 502

Other payables 88 76

Total Carrying amount of financial liabilities 508 578

14B: Net income and expense from financial assets

Loans and receivables

Interest revenue (see note 4B) 49 135

Net gain/(loss) loans and receivables 49 135

14C: Fair Values of Financial Instruments

The carrying amount of the financial instruments are reasonable approximation of fair value due to their short term nature.

14D: Credit risk

The NTRB was exposed to minimal credit risk as loans and receivables were cash and trade receivables.

The carrying amount of financial assets recorded in the financial statements, net of any allowances for losses, represents the Council’s maximum exposure to credit risk.

The NTRB only trades with recognised, creditworthy third parties. Exposure to credit risk is monitored by management on an ongoing basis. The NTRB held no collateral to mitigate against credit risk.

14E: Liquidity risk

The NTRB’s financial liabilities were payables. The exposure to liquidity risk was based on the notion that the Council will encounter difficulty in meeting its obligations associated with financial liabilities. This was highly unlikely due to government funding and mechanisms available to the entity and internal policies and procedures put in place to ensure there were appropriate resources to meet its financial obligations.

14F: Market risk

The NTRB held basic financial instruments that did not expose the entity to certain market risks, such as Currency Risk’ and Other Price Risks.

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Note 15: FaHCSIA Grant: Native Title Representative Services 2012/13 Approved

Budget $

2012/13 Actual $

2012/13 Actual vs. Budget $

2012/13 Actual vs. Budget %

Income

FaHCSIA Funding - Operational 3,665,554 3,665,554 - 100%

Other Project Income 450,000 1,307,809 (857,809) 291%

Interest Income 120,000 49,122 70,878 41%

2011/2012 Funds Carried Forward to 2012/2013 364,893 364,893 - 100%

Less: Impairment allowance - (328,000) 328,000 0%

Total Income 4,600,447 5,058,578 (458,131) 110%

Expenditure

Operational

Salaries

Corporate Staff (e.g. Accounting admin.) 84,545 53,520 (31,025) 63%

Project Staff (e.g. Legal, Anthropologists, field) 2,164,644 2,612,772 448,128 121%

Services

Accommodation 68,743 68,743 - 100%

Motor Vehicles - Corporate 103,115 54,701 (48,414) 53%

Repair and Maintenance - Equipment 9,178 9,178 - 100%

Repair and Maintenance - Buildings 9,178 9,178 - 100%

Bank Charges 11,881 - (11,881) 0%

Audit Fees 12,380 - (12,380) 0%

Consultants - Attributable 760,422 950,789 190,367 0%

Communications, Telephones, Fax and IT 86,871 84,336 (2,535) 97%

Insurance 8,856 8,856 - 100%

Training and Development

Governing Committee 8,614 - (8,614) 0%

Staff 83,170 152,962 69,792 184%

Meeting Expenses

Claimants 163,463 278,680 115,217 0%

Travel and Allowances

Claimants 94,528 153,737 59,209 0%

Staff Travel - Corporate 18,724 14,753 (3,971) 0%

Staff Travel - Attributable 322,094 468,903 146,809 0%

Supplies and Consumables

Office supplies & Consumables - Corporate 26,085 28,886 2,801 111%

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2012/13 Approved Budget $

2012/13 Actual $

2012/13 Actual vs. Budget $

2012/13 Actual vs. Budget %

Other Operational

Recruitment & Relocation 16,499 8,628 (7,871) 52%

Security 4,283 3,500 (783) 82%

Equipment 28,281 6,610 (21,671) 23%

Policy & Liaison 30,000 814 (29,186) 3%

Educational Resources - Land Rights 30,000 23,032 (6,968) 77%

2011/2012 Funds Carried Forward - Corporate 148,654 - (148,654) 0%

Other

NNTC Contribution 20,000 - (20,000) 0%

Contested Litigation - Timber Creek Compensation 141,620 58,391 (83,229) 41%

Consent Determinations 69,000 - (69,000) 0%

2011/2012 Funds Carried Forward - Attributable 75,619 - (75,619) 0%

Total Expenditure 4,600,447 5,050,969 450,522 110%

Surplus (Deficit) - 7,609 7,609 -

Commitments Carried Forward - 260,977 260,977 0%

Surplus (Deficit) after commitments - (253,368) (253,368) -

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Glossary of Terms

ABA Aboriginal Benefits Account

Aboriginal Land means land held by a Land Trust for an estate in fee simple; or land

the subject of a deed of grant held in escrow by a Land Council. Aboriginal Land Trust established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. Section 5 sets out the functions of Land Trusts. Section 7 deals with membership of Land Trusts

Agreements: Land Use Agreements are generally leases or licences for the use of or to carry out activities on Aboriginal land issued in accordance with s19 of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

Indigenous Land Use Agreements are Native Title agreements about the management and use of lands and waters between Native Title Claimants/ Holders and other parties. Agreements reached through the Native Title negotiations process either before or after a Native title determination is made.

Part IV Mining Agreements Exploration and mining agreements are entered into in accordance with the Part of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory) 1976.

ALRA means the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

APO NT is the Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory which is

an alliance between Northern Land Council (NLC), Central Land Council (CLC), North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA), Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT), Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS)

AQIS Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services

CAC Act Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

CFI Carbon Farming Initiative

CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

DEEWR Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

FaHCSIA The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and

Indigenous Affairs

IBA Indigenous Business Australia

ILC Indigenous Land Corporation

Land Council means an Aboriginal Land Council established in accordance with

the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

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LIR is a Land Interest Reference

Mining Act Minerals Titles Act 2010

NAILSMA a cross-jurisdictional alliance delivering initiatives across northern

Australia including Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

NLC means the Northern Land Council established under the Aboriginal

Land Rights Act (Northern Territory) 1976.

NRETAS Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment

and the Arts

SIR refers to a Strategic Indigenous Reserve, an amount of water set

aside in a water allocation plan for Indigenous people in a water allocation plan area to support future water trading and economic development.

SEWPaC Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and

Communities

Traditional Owners same meaning as traditional Aboriginal owner—a local descent group of Aboriginals who have common spiritual affiliations to a site on the land, being affiliations that place the group under a primary spiritual responsibility for that site and for the land; and are entitled by Aboriginal tradition to forage as or right over that land.

WoC Working on Country funding initiative of SEWPaC

234

Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Compliance Index Compliance Index of Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act)

Requirement Commonwealth Companies

(Annual Reporting) Orders 2011

Page Number(s)

Approval by Directors Clause 6 168; 208

Details of exemptions granted by Finance Minister in regard to reporting requirements Clause 7 156

Enabling legislation Clause 10 156

Responsible Minister Clause 11 156

Ministerial Directions Clause 12 29

General Policy Orders Clause 12 29

Work Health and Safety Clause 12 57-58; 163

Advertising and Market Research Clause 12 160

Disability Reporting Mechanisms Clause 12 58

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance Clause 12 31-34; 160

Information about Directors Clause 13 39-47

Organisational Structure Clause 14 52

Board Committees and their main responsibilities Clause 14

39-49; 156-157; 162-163

Main corporate governance practices (i.e. risk management, ethics, education and performance review for directors) Clause 14 156

Related Entity Transaction Clause 15 157

Significant events under section 15 of the CAC Act Clause 16 (a) 29

Operational and financial results Clause 16 (b) 28; 165

Key changes to the authority’s state of affairs or principal activities Clause 16 (c) 29

Amendments to authority’s enabling legislation Clause 16 (d) 29

Significant judicial or administrative tribunal decisions Clause 17 (a) 29

Reports made about the authority Clause 17 (b) Nil

Obtaining information from subsidiaries Clause 18 Nil

Indemnities and insurance premiums Clause 19 156

235

Northern Land Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Compliance Index of Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 Reference Page Number(s)

Fees: Specify the total fees received for services provided by the land council: a) under Part IV (Mining); and b) under 33A for services prescribed by the regulations that it provides in performing any of its functions, whether in the reporting year or the previous year.

Specify total fees received under s33B (other fees charged to the Commonwealth).

s37(2) 29; 184

Section 35 Determinations Include details of payments by the Council under Sec. 35 (2) or (3) and any determinations made by the Minister under Sec. 35 (6) made during the reporting year.

Details of payments made by determination or otherwise under 35(2), 35(6), 35(4), 35(4B), 35(11), and 67B (6) must be provided and include, the recipient of the amount; the subsection under which the amount was paid; and the total of the amount paid.

s37(3)

s37(4)

197

Details of amounts held in trust In respect of amounts paid to the Council and held in trust at the end of the year; provide details of the amount paid to Council and the year it was paid, the amount held in trust, and the mining operation concerned.

s37(5) 28; 153

Delegations If there is a delegation under s28, particulars of activities during the year related to any delegated functions or activities must be provided. s37(6) 162

Committees If a committee has been appointed under s29A to assist the Council in relation to the performance of any of its functions or the exercise of any of its powers, detailed information of its activities must be included.

s37(7)

39-49; 156-157; 162-163

Consultants Specify each consultant engaged by council during the year and the amount paid to each consultant. In order for comprehensive information to be reported details of the nature of work undertaken the total cost of the consultancy and the reasons why a consultant was required could be included in addition to the details required by this provision.

s37(8) 157-159

Environment Commonwealth authorities must under s516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, include a report on environmental matters.

S516A EPBC Act

31-34; 160

Work Health and Safety Commonwealth authorities must include information set out in sub-item 4(2) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Item 4, Schedule 2 WH&S Act 57-58; 163