“And I for one welcome our new * overlords.”

The snowclone title I owe to Mark Liberman’s LanguageLog post.

I’ve continued to track which communities are being targetted by the “Howard/Brough plan” (last update on 22 July).  Last Tuesday we learnt which communities will get a 5-year lease to the Commonwealth.  These are set out in the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 and its Schedules, wherein s.2(1) specifies commencement dates of the leases.

The general commencement is “The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.”  There are two exceptions: the provisions covered by s.32, and by s.33, both of which commence on “A single day to be fixed by Proclamation. However, if any of the provision(s) do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the first day after the end of that period.”  Sections 32 and 33 determine the commencement date of 5-year leases to the Commonwealth on certain areas specified in s.31(2)(a)(ii) and s.31(2)(a)(iii) respectively.

Effectively this provides for staging of the commencement of the leases, into three main stages (with separate provisions for the balance of areas such as those tracked for 99-year leases).  I haven’t seen any attention to this staging in commentary, nor any rationale as to why a community is in a grouping.

I have extracted the named communities according to these groupings (keeping the official spellings), and present them in the tables below along with my brief comments.  In the following tables the first column shows the current tenure type: ALRA is under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) 1976, CLA=Community Living Area, SPL=Special Purpose Lease, both under NT legislation.  The second column is the identifying number used in the Schedules to the NT National Emergency Response Bill 2007.

(i) Leases commencing “The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent”.  This grouping tends to include the larger centres of population, with exceptions: larger centres omitted from group (i) are Lajamanu, Wadeye, Maningrida, Milingimbi.

type no. name
ALRA 2 Ali Curung
ALRA 4 Amoonguna
ALRA 5 Ampilatwatja
ALRA 6 Areyonga
ALRA 11 Daguragu [see below]
ALRA 13 Gapuwiyak
ALRA 14 Gunbalanya
ALRA 15 Gunyangara
ALRA 17 Hermannsburg
ALRA 18 Kaltukatjara
ALRA 19 Kintore
ALRA 27 Ngukurr
ALRA 30 Nyirripi
ALRA 32 Papunya
ALRA 36 Pmara Jutunta
ALRA 37 Ramingining
ALRA 39 Santa Teresa
ALRA 41 Wallace Rockhole
ALRA 45 Yirrkala
ALRA 47 Yuendumu
CLA 48 Alpurrurulam
CLA 49 Atitjere
CLA 57 Minyerri
CLA 60 Titjikala
CLA 62 Wutunugurra
CLA 63 Yarralin

(ii) Leases commencing on a single day to be proclaimed and within 6 months of Royal Assent (these are all in the region of the NLC or the Tiwi Land Council):

type no. name
ALRA 1 Acacia Larrakia
ALRA 3 Amanbidji
ALRA 7 Barunga
ALRA 8 Belyuen
ALRA 9 Beswick
ALRA 10 Bulman
ALRA 12 Galiwinku
ALRA 21 Maningrida
ALRA 22 Manyallaluk
ALRA 23 Milikapiti
ALRA 24 Milingimbi
ALRA 25 Minjilang
ALRA 29 Numbulwar
ALRA 31 Palumpa
ALRA 33 Peppimenarti
ALRA 34 Pigeon Hole
ALRA 35 Pirlangimpi
ALRA 38 RobinsonRiver
ALRA 40 Wadeye
ALRA 42 Warruwi
ALRA 43 Weemol
CLA 50 Binjari
CLA 51 Bulla
CLA 55 Jilkminggan
CLA 58 Rittarangu

(iii) Leases commencing on a single day to be proclaimed and within 6 months of Royal Assent (these are all in the CLC region):

type no. name
ALRA 16 Haasts Bluff
ALRA 20 Lajamanu
ALRA 26 Mt Liebig
ALRA 28 Nturiya
ALRA 44 Willowra
ALRA 46 Yuelamu
CLA 52 Engawala
CLA 53 Imangara
CLA 54 Imanpa
CLA 56 Laramba
CLA 59 Tara
CLA 61 Wilora
65 Canteen Creek

The balance of communities named in the Bill have particularities in their current tenure and when the leases will commence is not simply specifiable.  All the communities which have announced agreement to 99-year leases are among these.

type no. name
iv 64 Nauiyu (Daly River)
SPL 66 Darwin: 5 town camps
SPL 67 Katherine: 2 town camps
SPL 68 Tennant Creek: 9 town camps
SPL 69 Alice Springs: 17 town camps
(a) Angurugu
v (b) Finke or Aputula
(c) Kalkarindji or Wave Hill
(d) Milyakburra
(e) Mutitjulu
(f) Nguiu
(g) Umbakumba
v Daguragu Community Government
Council [also covered by 11 Daguragu in (i)]
v Pine Creek Aboriginal
Advancement Association Inc. [covers Kybrook Farm – thanks Jangari]

The NT website tracking the intervention has hardly been updated for a few weeks now, but it still has the only official map of communities affected.  Lots of smaller communities are not mentioned on this map and are now not in the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007, notably the Utopia communities, the town camps at Elliott and Borroloola, and communities in the
southern Barkly.


  1. Bob Durnan says:

    So what is the status of outstations on ALRA land, and on the stockroutes? i.e. outside the scheduled town areas.
    Aren’t they affected by the Emergency provisions? e.g. in relation to the quarantining of residents’ welfare, and/or the bans on alcohol? or does the welfare quarantining apply to all residents on ALRA land, or to all people receiving their money in the scheduled communities?

  2. David Nash says:

    Outside the scheduled township areas there is no change in land tenure (as far as I can tell Bob; insert here some obvious disclaimer about all this not being legal advice).
    My post above was confined to areas about to undergo a change to their land tenure, namely being leased for 5 years to the Commonwealth.
    The current Bills define and affect other kinds of areas in ways without affecting land tenure. I suppose we’ll get used to this new vocabulary. Someone could chart the interwoven definitions of the Bills in this “emergency response” package; I haven’t done this but here are some:

    • business management areas — defined in s.3; includes all 5-year leases, or “an area of land or a place” in the NT that “is declared by the Minister, by legislative instrument, to be a business management area”. It is used to define community services entity, which can be subject to close monitoring by an “observer of a community services entity” appointed by the Minister.
    • prescribed areas — defined in NTER s.4; includes all ALRA land, and any other land can be excluded or included by the Minister; these are where liquor and pornography are prohibited, and are used in the definition of community store

    There are more: common areas to do with access permission, relevant Northern Territory areas (all prescribed areas plus Finke/ Aputula and Kalkarindji/ Wave Hill) to do with the income management regime, declared relevant Northern Territory areas (relevant areas specified by the Minister); declared primary school area and declared secondary school areas; and (if you’re still reading) construction areas and initial areas to do with “Statutory rights over buildings or infrastructure”. You can have your own go at reading the Bills, and the Explanatory Memoranda, and the Parliamentary Library’s digest.

  3. David Nash says:

    The updated Bills Digest explained yesterday:

    Due to the short time-frame allowed for Parliamentary consideration, the Library produced an interim Bills Digest on the package of Bills on 7 August, and is now issuing a separate Bills Digest on each Bill.

    Here are the four digests from yesterday (well the last file is actually dated today — and today the Senate votes on the package):
    21 Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007 [PDF 239KB]
    24-25 Appropriation (Northern Territory National Emergency Response) Bill (Nos. 1 and 2) 2007-2008 [PDF 80KB]
    27 Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 [PDF 152KB]
    28 Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 [PDF 339KB]
    Will Owen’s American eye‘s latest post Stop the Land Grab! has more.

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