Aboriginal land councils in the Northern Territory
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Aboriginal land councils in the Northern Territory are areas of Aboriginal self-governance.
There are four Land Councils in the Northern Territory:
- the Anindilyakawa Land Council covering Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
- the Central Land Council is in the southern half of the Northern Territory. The region covers 771,747 square kilometres (297,973 sq mi) of remote, rugged and often inaccessible areas. There are 18,000 Aboriginal people from 15 different Aboriginal language groups in Central Australia.
- the Northern Land Council covering the Top End.
- the Tiwi Land Council covering Bathurst and Melville Islands north of Darwin.
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 established the basis upon which Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory could, for the first time, claim rights to land based on traditional occupation. In effect it allowed title to be transferred for most of the Aboriginal reserve lands and the opportunity to claim other land not owned, leased or being used by someone else.
The Land Councils are representative bodies with statutory authority under the Act. They also have responsibilities under the Native Title Act 1993 and the Pastoral Land Act 1992.
The Northern Territory Emergency Response provides for the Commonwealth Government to compulsorily acquire five-year leases of townships currently held under the title provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 through with compensation on a basis other than just terms. (The number of settlements involved remains unclear.)