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Tiwi Pontoon Project Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)

Date: 26 February 2021
Sub Category:Future Act Agreement (Native Title Act) | Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)

Apsley Strait, Tiwi Islands

State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia

The Extract from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements describes the area covered by this agreement as two lots located in Apsley Strait between Bathurst and Melville Islands, covering a combined area of about 9,390 sq km. Schedule 1 of the ILUA identifies the area as NT Portions 7581 on Bathurst Island and 7582 on Melville Island. For more information see the documents attached.

The area is within the jurisdiction of the Tiwi Island Regional Council.

Legal Status:

Registered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on 13 August 2021. This is an authorised area agreement under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Legal Reference: National Native Title Tribunal file no.: DI2021/001
Subject Matter: | Native Title
Summary Information:

The Tiwi Pontoon Project Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was agreed, under the provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (the NTA), between the following parties:

  • Northern Land Council
  • Mantiyupwi Pty Ltd
  • Northern Territory of Australia

The purpose of the ILUA is to provide consent for the undertaking of the Tiwi Pontoon Project: a project to construct and maintain boating pontoon infrastructure for ferry services across the Apsley Strait between the townships of Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island and Paru on Melville Island.

The Native Title Representative Body for this area is the Northern Land Council. 

Detailed Information:

Background to the Agreement 

From 2014, discussions for development along the foreshore of the Wurrumiyanga and Paru landings have been progressed between Sealink, Tiwi Island Land Council, Mantiyupwi land owners, and the Department of Chief Ministers to provide a safer environment for people using the SeaLink ferry service (Tiwi Enterprises).

The Tiwi Pontoon Project is being delivered by Tiwi Enterprises Ltd together with Carey MC, both Indigenous-owned companies; giving Tiwi people employment opportunities whilst the project is being completed (Tiwi Enterprises). 

Commencement and Termination

The agreement commenced on 26 February 2021, when signed by all parties. It will operate for the length of the Tiwi Pontoon Project unless terminated earlier with the consent of all the parties. 

Native Title Provisions

Right to negotiate

The parties agree that the right to negotiate provisions in Part 2 Division 3 Subdivision P of the Native Title Act 1993 do not apply to the acts agreed to under this ILUA. 


The parties agree that the non-extinguishment principle applies to any grant or agreed act or the undertaking of any aspect of the agreement. This means that under s 24EB(3) of the NTA any such activity which may be inconsistent with native title rights and interests does not extinguish these rights and interests, instead, they are revived when the activities are finished.

Future act provisions

The parties agreed to:

  • the granting of Crown leases over the two lots in the ILUA area under s 9(1) of the Crown Lands Act 1992 (NT) for a term of two years, with commitments relating to the Tiwi Pontoon Project for the construction, operation, maintenance and further development of boating pontoon infrastructure for ferry services (with the Crown leases being converted to a term of 40 years once the commitments are completed);
  • all other acts necessary in relation to, or incidental to the Tiwi Pontoon Project, including the granting of any other rights in connection with it; and
  • the validation of any acts done by Mantiyupwi or the Northern Territory as part of the boating pontoon infrastructure.

Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Signatory
  • Northern Land Council - Signatory
  • Mantiyupwi Pty Ltd - Signatory
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Crown Lands Act 1992 (NT)

  • References

    General Reference
    Tiwi Enterprises Projects, Pontoon


    National Native Title Register Extract from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements DI2021/001 as at 13/02/2023 (Tiwi Pontoon Project ILUA) - ( PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF)


    Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Party to an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Australia) | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) (Native Title Act) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia) | Right To Negotiate (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Future Act (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)

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