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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

ABA Homelands Project

The NIAA is currently revising the Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) Homelands Project Grant Opportunity Guidelines (Grant Guidelines).

New applications for ABA Homelands Project funding cannot be submitted until new Grant Guidelines have been finalised and published on GrantConnect.

If you have already submitted an application for funding in response to an invitation from NIAA, you will not be required to submit a new application. However, your existing application cannot be progressed until new Grant Guidelines are in place. NIAA will consider your existing application under the new Grant Guidelines.


The ABA Homelands Project (the Project) invests more than $50 million to improve living conditions in homelands (or outstations) across the Northern Territory. The Project has grown out of the ABA Advisory Committee’s Investing in Country and Culture proposal.

The Project

The Project is a community-driven one-off infrastructure investment in selected homelands, with homelands residents identifying areas of priority need. The Project dovetails with other sources of assistance to homelands, such as the Northern Territory Government’s Municipal and Essential Services (MES) program, so that the investment is not duplicated. Delivery is in three stages:

Stage 1 Consultation: Land councils lead, Land councils develop a schedule of homelands for consultation, NIAA, with NTG input, prepares briefs to assist the consultation with each homeland, Land councils consult and assist homelands residents to submit proposals. State 2 Assessment: NIAA leads, NIAA assesses proposals, seeking advice from NTG to avoid duplication of support, The Minister provides a decision on proposals. State 3 Delivery: NIAA leads, Packages of approved proposals are bundled to be presented to providers (preference for MES providers and Indigenous organisations), Funding agreements are negotiated with providers, with local Indigenous employment targets.

  • Stage 1. Consultation: the four Northern Territory Land Councils identify homelands for participation in the Project and consult with homelands residents to identify priorities for potential support. Land councils have submitted proposals for each participating homeland. This stage has now concluded.
  • Stage 2. Assessment: each proposal is considered by the ABA Advisory Committee, which makes a recommendation to the Minister on activities proposed for each homeland. The Minister approves which activities are to be supported for delivery. This stage has now concluded.
  • Stage 3. Delivery: The NIAA approaches local services providers to submit funding applications to deliver the approved activities. The preference is for Indigenous-owned providers who have experience delivering essential services to the homelands. Each application is formally assessed by the NIAA and works undertaken once funding agreements are in place.

Consultations and Proposals

Land councils have completed consultations with homelands residents and submitted a proposal for each homeland. The ABA Advisory Committee has considered each proposal and made recommendations to the Minister. Proposals for 184 homelands have been approved to proceed. This is all homelands considered for the Project.


The NIAA approaches services providers to submit applications to deliver the approved proposals. Applications are assessed according to the NIAA grant funding process. A grant funding agreement is then negotiated with successful applicants, allowing funding to be released for the delivery of infrastructure and assets.

Some examples of what will be covered

  • New and upgraded essential services infrastructure (electricity, water, sewerage).
  • Upgrades and repairs to roads, bridges, etc.
  • New or upgraded radio and mobile phone infrastructure.
  • New or upgraded communal buildings.
  • Training for the use and maintenance of infrastructure that has been delivered under the Project.

Some examples of what will not be covered

  • Creation of new homelands.
  • New housing or house upgrades/repairs.
  • Vehicles and machinery for personal use.

Homelands approved for the delivery of works

The Minister has approved proposals for six homelands in the Tiwi Land Council (TLC) region, six in the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) region, 104 in the Central Land Council (CLC) region, and 68 in the Northern Land Council (NLC) region. No further homelands are awaiting decision.

Regional councils and essential services providers have been approached by NIAA to submit funding applications to scope and deliver the approved proposals. 

Further information

To learn more about the ABA Homelands Project call 1800 354 612 or email


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