Land Rights Bill Provides Opportunities and Retains Choice
Contrary to suggestions the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill is being rushed through Parliament, the Bill is the product of three reviews and numerous consultations conducted over the last nine years.
Each of the reviews recommended changes to streamline and modernise the original legislation to facilitate better outcomes for Indigenous people and other stakeholders.
This was followed in 2002 by the release of an options paper to all stakeholders. Details of the proposed changes were announced in October last year.
There is nothing in the bill that alters the inalienable title rights of indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. The choice to offer 99 year headleases is voluntary. Some communities might take up the opportunity, some might not. None are compelled.