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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Northern Australia White Paper: Township Leasing and Land Administration

Program 1.1 - Jobs, Land and Economy
Activity type: 
Contract start: 
May 2019
Yaran Business Services
Last updated: 
5th October 2021

The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Land Rights Act) was amended in 2006 to provide for section 19A ‘township leases’, which cover entire community areas on Aboriginal land to support economic development. Township leases can be held either by the Executive Director of Township Leasing (EDTL) on behalf of the Commonwealth or, more recently, by a local Aboriginal corporation representing traditional owners (community entity model).

The evaluation considers the communities that have taken up township leases in the Northern Territory (NT) from introduction to 2017 and how they have performed against initial expectations and policy objectives. As well as examining the direct benefits of township leasing to individual communities, the evaluation examines the extent to which township leasing provides social, cultural, economic benefits to Aboriginal peoples and communities in the NT.