Little Bali for the Tiwi Islands, while the Barkly gets Australia's Nuclear Waste or will the Chief Minister join with the community most affected to better inform his decision?
Economic development equals jobs and going to work becomes the agent of change for improving low self esteem offering an alternative to dysfunctional behaviour including alcoholism, drug addiction, criminal offending and prison.
Going to work supports engaging with the community, training, meeting people, communicating, developing a world view and reflecting on achievements as opposed to despair.
Government plays a strategic role in creating and stimulating economic development and jobs especially in regional areas through investment in public and enabling infrastructure also supporting private projects like beef, mining and construction.
The Hon Adam Giles as reported by Paul Toohey in the Northern Territory News 18/5/2013 made, “an unprecedented offer to Aboriginal communities in the NT – If someone comes to me, any community in the Northern Territory with a viable economic future and says we want to be a part of a bold new approach I’ll put them down as a major project and I’ll do everything I can to help them out.”
Toohey reported the Chief Minister’s vision including the Tiwi Islands becoming the next Bali which made the headline however the real issue is Aboriginal land tenure, traditional ownership and agreements to support economic development for creating jobs.
The Chief Minister was quoted as saying major developments on Aboriginal land, “would include making sure we had land tenure arrangements that allowed investment. It’s not about taking peoples land, or access to cultural sites, but a CBD and township that allowed for growth and got rid of native-title implications that stopped development in that area.”
Economic development is a worthy ambition from our young Chief Minister however extinguishing native-title requires a sensitive approach by a CLP Government credited with a 30 year legal battle costing tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to resolve the Kenbi Land Claim.
The most recent example of the CLP Government’s inaptitude in resolving Aboriginal Land Rights saw a complete breakdown in negotiations over the Blue Mud Bay decision and recent closures of top end rivers to recreational fishers.
In Government NT Labor premised negotiation not litigation successfully negotiating the Barkly Work Camp and Tennant Creek Land Release with Aboriginal Traditional Owners including the Native Title consent determination over the township.
As an Opposition Member I can only offer advice to the Chief Minister for sensitive native title negotiations emulating open and accountable decision making that embraces Aboriginal land tenure protocols representing spiritual and physical ownership.
The Federal Court hearing in relation to Muckaty Station as Australia’s first nuclear waste management facility should become the Chief Minister’s ‘yard-stick’ as the decision reflects, can a small family group make a decision about Aboriginal land allowing development that adversely impacts on the extended clan, moiety and tribal owners including traditional owners from surrounding Aboriginal land?
The Hon Adam Giles has not declared his position or the CLP Government’s position on the Northern Territory becoming the repository for Australia’s nuclear waste including intermediate to high level waste from nuclear fuel rods and decommissioned nuclear reactor from Sydney’s Lucas Heights.
The Federal Court decision on Muckaty will provide a clear determination for correct decision making processes supporting land use on Aboriginal country structuring the Chief Minister’s ‘one liners’ for dictating Government policy.
However where do the Hon Adam Giles and his Government members stand on the Muckaty nomination as Territory Labor’s position has not changed in opposition to Federal colleagues imposing Australia’s first nuclear waste dump on the Northern Territory!