Bills Digest no. 66 1976
Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Bill 1976
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
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Contact Officer & Copyright Details
Aboriginal Land Rights
(Northern Territory) Bill 1976
Date introduced: 1 December
House: House of Representatives
The Bill seeks to grant traditional
Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory to Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern
Territory) Bill was first introduced in the House of
Representatives on 4 June 1976. Government amendments to this Bill
were foreshadowed on 17 November 1976 and the reprinted Bill,
incorporating the amendments, was introduced on 1 December
The Bill provides for:
the establishment of Land Trusts to hold title to
land in the Northern Territory for the benefit of groups of
Aboriginals entitled by Aboriginal tradition to the use or
occupation of the land concerned.
establishment of at least two Land Councils to act on behalf of the
traditional owners in the administration of land held by the Land
Trusts; to assist in claims to traditional land; and to perform any
functions that may be conferred by a law of the Northern
mining exploration and development to be allowed on
Aboriginal land only with the consent of the Minister and the Land
Council for the area unless such exploration and development is
required in the national interest.
the negotiation of agreements including financial
benefits and compensation in respect of mining interests.
the settlement of disputes in respect of leases or
other mining interests by arbitration.
the preservation of existing rights in land which
becomes Aboriginal land.
of an Aboriginal Land Commissioner to ascertain who are traditional
owners; to inquire into the likely extent of traditional land
claims; and to report to and advise the Minister and the Minister
for the Northern Territory.
establishment of an Aboriginal Benefit Trust Account into which
shall be paid out of Consolidated Revenue amounts equal to the
amounts of any royalties received by the Crown in respect of a
mining interest in Aboriginal land; and from which specified
amounts shall be paid to the Land Councils.
the establishment of a Trust Account Advisory
Committee to advise the Minister in connexion with the making of
payments out of the Trust Account.
the consent of the Land Council for the building of
roads on Aboriginal land.
a penalty for entering or remaining on a sacred site
or on Aboriginal land except as permitted under the Act.
Assembly of the Northern Territory to make Ordinances providing
for: the protection of sacred sites; regulating and authorizing the
entry of persons on Aboriginal land; the protection and
conservation of wild life; and regulating and controlling entry and
fishing in waters of the sea within 2 kilometres of Aboriginal
The Schedules of the Bill describe
the lands to become Aboriginal lands.
Education and Welfare Group
6 December 1976
Bills Digest Service
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