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Indigenous Pastoral Program

Category: Policy/Strategy
Date: February 2003
Date To: 2006 (replaced)
Sub Category:Policy/Strategy
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Alternative Names:
  • IPP
  • Indigenous Pastoral Project
  • Northern Territory Indigenous Pastoral Program
  • Subject Matter: | Employment and Training | Pastoral Activities
    Summary Information:
    The Indigenous Pastoral Project ('IPP') was established pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indigenous Land Corporation, the Northern and Central Land Councils and the Northern Territory Government (2003). The IPP has since been expanded, following the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indigenous Land Corporation, the Central Land Council, the Northern Land Council, the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, the Northern Territory Government and the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (2006).

    The IPP aims to increase the capacity of traditional owners to establish community-based pastoral enterprises. It is designed to enhance the pastoral industry on indigenous land and thereby provide "economic solutions to environmental and social problems" (Breaking New Ground 2005).
    Detailed Information:
    Objectives and outcomes

    The key objectives of the IPP "are to help Indigenous land owners implement sustainable pastoral enterprises and increase pastoral production from their land".

    Key projected outcomes of the IPP are to "increase cattle numbers on Indigenous land; and to expand Indigenous participation in the pastoral workforce" (Breaking New Ground 2005).


    Six positions have been funded for implementation of the IPP:
  • one at Katherine, one in Darwin and two in Alice Springs, within the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines;
  • one at the NLC; and
  • one at the CLC (NTCA 2006).


    As at January 2007, there were 36 Aboriginal-owned properties associated with IPP projects. High-priority projects included:
  • Amanbidji
  • Kybrook Farm
  • Gunbalunya Meat Supply
  • Twin Hills
  • Robinson River
  • Elsey
  • Balbarini/Carpentaria Downs
  • Daguragu
  • Hooker Creek
  • Tanami Downs
  • Loves Creek Station
  • Mt Barkly Station
  • Haasts Bluff
  • McLaren Creek
  • Mangarlawurru; and
  • Munjirtinyi (Common Ground 2007, 14).

    Business Models

    Stated generally, the three business models of the IPP involve:
  • traditional owners developing their own pastoral enterprises;
  • traditional owners issuing grazing licences to third parties and benefiting from increased infrastructure and employment; and
  • traditional owners issuing licences to third parties and using the funding for developing their own pastoral enterprise (Common Ground 2007, 14).


    In December 2005, the ILC's manager of pastoral development, Luke Bowen, indicated that the program was on target to stock an extra 35,000 cattle across Aboriginal lands, and suggested that funding for the program could be extended for a further five years. He said: "there is a strong commitment by the ILC. We have supported the program here in the order of $1.2 million in direct funding across the past three years. We also support on ground works to around the same value. ... There is a certain level of backlog, and this is very important long term work. In a lot of cases these projects are already self sustaining. People like to see their land in production, there is no doubt about that whatsoever and I have seen it for myself where indigenous people who have been sitting on land for quite a period of time, who have seen things happening next door are now able to speak quite proudly of the fact that they have got cattle on their land. They have got roads, they have got fences, they have got water points. They have got cattle leaving the property and going on ships and going overseas. They are becoming part of the industry and I think that is very, very significant" (Francis 2005).

    Alister Trier, the NT Government's pastoral development officer, said of the program: "I think that co-operation has been a real highlight, the working between the land councils has been a highlight and I don't think it's been seen before. The real co-operation and genuine cooperation between communities and the cattle industry is a positive and real change" (Francis 2005).

  • Related Entries

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Indigenous Land Corporation, the Northern and Central Land Councils and the Northern Territory Government
  • Amanbidji Station Cooperative Lease Agreements
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Indigenous Land Corporation, Central Land Council, Northern Land Council, NT Cattlemen's Association, NT Government and Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Hooker Creek Aboriginal Land Trust Lease Agreement
  • Organisation
  • Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development (NT) - Partner
  • Indigenous Land Corporation - Partner
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Partner
  • Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (NT) - Partner
  • Department of Employment, Education and Training (NT) - Partner
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services
  • Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

  • References

    Adrienne Francis (2005) Milestone's for Indigenous Pastoralism
    Northern Land Council (2004) Annual Report 2003/2004
    Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines - Northern Territory Government (2005) Pastoral Industry Development Officer
    ABC Rural (2005) Aboriginal Land Gets Turned Over to Grazing



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