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Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Stage 2)

Date: 10 November 2009
Sub Category:Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)
Place:Groote Eylandt
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
This agreement covers the Anindilyakwa region, comprised of Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island: specifically the Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra communities. Groote Eylandt is approximately 50 kilometres off the coast of East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
Subject Matter:Consultation | Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training | Health and Community Services | | Law - Policy and Justice | Sports and Physical Recreation | Tourism | Youth
Summary Information:
Stage 2 of the Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) was signed in Darwin on 10 November 2009. The signatories to the agreement are the Commonwealth government, the Northern Territory government, Anindilyakwa Land Council, Groote Eylandt Mining Company and East Arnhem Shire Council.

This RPA builds on and replaces the Stage 1 agreement (see related entities file no. A004617).

The full text of this RPA can be found attached in the documents section.
Detailed Information:

With regard to objectives, the RPA states as follows: 'this Agreement establishes a regional partnership to achieve sustainable and measurable outcomes for people living in the Anindilyakwa region across a range of outcomes. The parties will work together to coordinate services and effectively deliver initiatives across communities in the region in response to locally identified need.'

Priorities and Projects

The priorities expressed in this RPA include housing, health service delivery, education, business and enterprise development, community safety (including reduced substance abuse and increased police presence), governance and leadership training, early childhood, planning and infrastructure, youth, sport, recreation and the development of a strong partnership between industry, community and government.

The key projects that make up Stage 2 of the Groote Eylandt RPA include:

  • $20 million to seal the road from Angurugu to Umbakumba ($9.5 million from the Federal Government, $5 million from the Anindilyakwa Land Council and $5.5 million from the Northern Territory Government). It is understood that sealing the road to Umbakumba will give community members better access to jobs, education and training, medical services and social and sporting events;
  • Improvements to the education system across all levels (including accommodation for 8 new teachers at Umbakumba);
  • Fluoride treatment plants at Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra;
  • Cyclone shelters at Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra;
  • Construction of a new health clinic at Umbakumba;
  • Improved police presence (including an office for visiting police at Angurugu);
  • The construction of 54 new houses (in addition to the 26 houses planned under Stage 1 of the RPA) as part of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), as well as incentives to improve access to home ownership; and
  • The continuation of successful stage one projects, including the AFL Remote Regional Development Program and the Economic Development and Employment Strategy. (Media Release)


    The total value of Stages 1 and 2 combined will reach over $80 million. This will include over $20 million for the sealing of Umbakumba Road and $60 million for the construction of 80 new houses and a minimum of 75 refurbishments.

    As part of this Stage 2 agreement, the Anindilyakwa Land Council will provide up to $14 million in royalty equivalent income towards RPA projects.

    A Two-Stage RPA Process

    Stage 1 of the Groote Eylandt RPA was signed in May 2008. That agreement made history by becoming the first Regional Partnership Agreement to be signed between the government and an indigenous community in the Northern Territory. This Stage 2 agreement builds on the many successes of the first stage, which include the implementation of the beginnings of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, the provision of support to sufferers of Machado Joseph Disease, and the establishment of a regional AFL program.

    Unlike the Stage 1 agreement, the Stage 2 agreement does not refer to the COAG 'National Framework Principles'. Instead, the 'Service Delivery Principles for Programs and Services for Indigenous Australians' in the 'National Indigenous Reform Agreement' are incorporated. This update ensures the agreement is now consistent with the COAG Indigneous Reform Agenda (including the NIRA). See page 4 of the Agreement (attached in the documents section) for more detail.

    Jenny Macklin MP, Warren Snowdon MP and Paul Henderson MLA commented in a Media Release that this RPA "highlights the way forward for indigenous communities" (Media release).

    The full text of the Agreement can be found attached in the documents section.

    The Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) Implementation Agreement

    This SIHIP Implementation Agreement was agreed between the Australian government, the Northern Territory government and the Anindilyakwa Land Council in July 2010, and makes up the updated Schedule C of the Groote Eyelandt RPA (Stage 2).

    The purpose of this SIHIP Implementation Agreement is to provide an updated framework for the implementation of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program in the Groote Eylandt Archipelago region. More specifically, the Implementation Agreement sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Australian and Northern Territory governments, the Anindilyakwa Land Council and the GEBIE Civil and Construction (a newly-incorporated indigenous construction organisation) in the implementation of this program as follows:

  • The Australian and Northern Territory governments are jointly responsible for the leadership and program management of the program, the introduction of a new remote public housing system in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, and the provision of support to community processes;

  • The Anindilyakwa Land Council is responsible for representing the interests of the Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra communities in all discussions and transactions; and

  • The GEBIE Civil and Construction is responsible for the delivery of the refurbishment and rebuilding work, as well as the preparation of parts of a Package Development Report that will address these aspects of the program.

  • The Implementation Agreement provides for the replacement of Earth Connect Alliance with Territory Alliance, updating the original Schedule C in the RPA. The agreement states that all parties have agreed to work with Territory Alliance to complete the works scheduled under Stage 1 and 2 in the Groote Archipelago region. Accordingly, twelve new housing blocks at Angurugu and Umbakumba that were commenced by Earth Connect Alliance are now being completed by Territory Alliance.

    The Implementation Agreement also sets out the priority areas for the program, which include some of the key housing, refurbishment and infrastructure-related projects described above. In addition, a minimum 20% indigenous employment target has been set for the SIHIP program in the Groote Eylandt Archipelago area.

    Implementation of the Remote Service Delivery (RSD) National Partnership Agreement

    Schedule D of the RPA (Stage 2) deals with the implementation of the RSD National Partnership Agreement in the Groote Eylandt Archipelago Region. A copy of the Implementation Plan for the RSD National Partnership Agreement dealt with in Schedule D can be found attached in the references section. Schedule D was incorporated into this RPA in July 2010.

    Pursuant to Schedule D, the parties have agreed that the RPA will be the primary vehicle for the implementation of the RSD in Angurugu and Umbakumba, giving effect both to the RPA and the RSD Implementation Plan. Schedule D also makes provision for the inclusion of Angurugu and Umbakumba in any new initiatives that are to be carried out under the RSD, as well as for the development of a community engagement plan and the supplementation of the RPA Baseline Community Profile with baseline and service mapping under the RSD to ensure consistency across different sites.

    Related Entries

  • Groote Eylandt Agreement-In-Principle for 99-year Leases - Previous
  • Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Stage 1) - Previous
  • Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island Enterprises (GEBIE) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Organisation
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Signatory
  • Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) (Cth)
  • Anindilyakwa Land Council - Signatory
  • Groote Eylandt Mining Company Pty Ltd - Signatory
  • East Arnhem Shire Council - Signatory
  • Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island Enterprises Aboriginal Corporation (GEBIE)
  • Legislation
  • Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth)

  • Glossary

    Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Australia)

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