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Groote Eylandt Agreement-In-Principle for 99-year Leases

Date: 7 August 2007
Sub Category:Memorandum of Understanding
Place:Groote Eylandt
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Subject Matter:Cultural Heritage | Education | Employment and Training | Health and Community Services | | Land Transaction | Law - Policy and Justice
Summary Information:
In August 2007, an Agreement-in-Principle for 99-year leases over Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra was reached between the Commonwealth Government and the Anindilyakwa People. This was part of Stage 1 of a Regional Partnership Agreement process.

In return for the 99-year leases, it was proposed that traditional owners would receive $4.6 million for years 1-15 of the leases, any extra money made from the lease (after operating expenses) during that time, and income from subleases (less operating costs) for years 16-99 of the leases (Australian Government 2007).

The Indigenous Affairs Minister at the time, Mal Brough MP, thought that funding from the Commonwealth Government for programs under the Regional Partnership Agreement would total almost $20 million (Brough 2007).

Following the change of government in November 2007, the terms of this proposed Regional Partnership Agreement were revised. In May 2008, a Regional Partnership Agreement was signed by the new (Labor) Commonwealth Government, the Northern Territory Government and the Anindilyakwa Land Council (see below, Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)). Most importantly, the RPA encompasses a 40-year lease, rather than 99-year leases.

Detailed Information:
The Agreement-in-Principle marked the end of Stage 1 of negotiations for a Regional Partnership Agreement.

The proposed Regional Partnership Agreement included the following terms relating to education, economic development, housing, community health and safety, leadership and governance and future planning:

  • a review of education in the Groote Eylandt region, and recommended improvements;
  • a coordinated focus on jobs and training, including a full-time development coordinator;
  • a minibus for transporting people to training and employment places;
  • construction of 22 houses;
  • repairs and maintenance of all existing houses;
  • access to the Home Ownership on Indigenous Land programme;
  • an Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) grant for up to $2 million for establishment of a GEBIE construction company to build more houses;
  • an ABA grant of up to $2 million for a Cultural Centre attached to the Dugong Beach Resort;
  • $1 million for improving primary health care facilities at Angurugu and Umbakumba;
  • a study about caring for Machado Joseph Disease (MJD) sufferers;
  • making the Groote region a priority for the Darwin sniffer dog unit, in order to combat illegal drugs;
  • an assessment of drinking water flouridation;
  • basic overnight accommodation for visiting police at Umbakumba;
  • a sport programme conducted jointly with the AFL;
  • leadership development programmes;
  • a Baseline Data Study for future planning; and
  • commitment to negotiate Stage 2 within 6 months of commencement of the RPA (see Australian Government 2007).

  • Related Entries

  • Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Stage 1) - Previous
  • Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Stage 2) - Previous
  • Organisation
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • People
  • Anindilyakwa People - Signatory

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