The Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) and Northern Territory government have signed the Groote Archipelago Local Decision Making Agreement, giving major decision making responsibilities around education, health, justice, housing and local governance to local Aboriginal communities.
The agreement is one of nine Local Deicison Making agreements currently signed or underway, and forms part of a broader push towards self-determination for similar regional communities.
The agreement outlines Anindilyakwa priorities and timeframes for transition to local control in the areas of housing, education, health, local government, economic development, law and justice and environmental sustainability.
“The old way is finished, and today we embark on a significant journey to give decision-making power back to where it belongs, in the hands of the Anindilyakwa people of the Groote Archipelago,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
ALC Chairman Tony Wurramarrba AO welcomed the announcement, saying that it represents a future pathway for self-determination for the Anindilyakwa people.
“We celebrate today’s occasion because it marks the Northern Territory Government’s solemn commitment to return control of local decisions to Traditional Owners. We will work with the Northern Territory Government to undertake this important work under this agreement over the next decade and make these changes for the benefit of our people,” Mr Wurramarrba said.