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Public statement from the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Councils

Date listed: 21/3/2020

Public statement from the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Councils

We’re all in this Together! Stay on Country, Care for Family!

This is an open message to traditional Aboriginal owners, remote community members and the public about the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic from the Northern, Central, Anindilyakwa and Tiwi Land Councils.

All of the Land Councils are operating as close to normal as possible and we remain committed to delivering essential services to traditional owners and community members and to continue to meet the needs of the many individuals, companies and government departments that we work closely with on a daily basis to provide those essential services.

All Land Councils are working closely with the NT Government and AMSANT to make sure that the concerns of our mob are heard and that important health information is provided.

We have never seen anything like the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic before. It is important that we all stay as informed and safe as possible. A key message from all Land Councils for people living on country is that our mob should remain on country and not travel to the major centres unless you really have to.

For our mob who are in Darwin and want to go home they should contact the Larrakia Nation’s Return to Country office next door to Centrelink at Casuarina or by free phone call on 1800 290... . Tangentyere has a similar service for people in Alice Springs and the numbers to call are 8951... and 8951... .

Things will change quickly in the coming weeks and months so it is important to stay safe and informed. The best source of reliable health information for families on remote and regional communities and homelands is your local health clinic.

The NT Government’s SecureNT website (www.secure.nt.gov.au) has the most reliable, current and accurate information.

All Land Councils have been distributing information through their websites and Facebook pages. Please be careful about rumours and misinformation online and report any information you think is wrong or dangerous.

The best ways to stop coronavirus spreading on communities and homelands is by:

  • Washing your hands properly for at least twenty seconds and with a lot with soap and water (before eating, after going to the toilet, after coughing or sneezing, when you come home from work, school or the community)
  • Don’t share cigarettes or drinks
  • Stay away from big crowds
  • Don’t touch other people – no shaking hands or hugging – this is called ‘social distancing’. Try to keep three steps away from other people - but stay close to and care for family

Information from Land Councils:

Northern Land Council (NLC)

  • NLC has suspended all non-essential permits to enter and remain on Aboriginal land and the issue of any new permits until further notice.
  • We are working hard to make sure we can still provide services out bush and keep our staff and community safe and well. We have postponed most of our meetings out bush until further notice.
  • More information at the NLC website: www.nlc.org.au or the NLC Facebook page @northernlandcouncil or call 1800 645... or email at covid-19@nlc.org.au

Central Land Council (CLC)

  • CLC has suspended exploration permits and cancelled tourist permits to protect vulnerable community residents from the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The CLC’s Aboriginal Associations Management Centre also cancelled all Aboriginal corporation meetings scheduled between now and mid-April in order to encourage members to stay in their home communities.
  • More information at the CLC website: www.clc.org.au or the CLC Facebook page @centrallandcouncil or call (08) 8951 ... or 1800 003... .

Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC)

  • All non-essential travel to and from Groote Eylandt is suspended until further notice.
  • South32 charter flights have a high degree of security over FIFO workers and are actively minimising their contact with community. Similar precautions have been adopted by GEBIE, Aminjarrinja and other FIFO workforces.
  • All ALC staff residing in community should minimise interaction with Alyangula residents and remain in community.
  • The ALC is focussed on a measured, calm and systematic approach. As far as possible, we are committed to the continuity of ALC programs and other essential services.
  • More information at the Anindilyakwa Land Council website www.anindilyakwa.com.au or on Facebook @anindilyakwa or call 08 8987... .

Tiwi Land Council (TLC)

  • all existing non-essential permits to the land and seas within the Tiwi Aboriginal Land Trust region are revoked and no new non-essential permits will be granted until further notice. This applies to all areas across Bathurst and Melville Islands in the Tiwi Land Trust region and includes public access to homelands and the Tiwi College at Pickataramoor.
  • In addition, the Executive Director of Township Leasing, has issued a Restriction of Entry for the following remote Indigenous communities on the Tiwi Islands: Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu) on Bathurst Island Wurankuwu (Ranku) on Bathurst Island Milikapiti (Snake Bay) on Melville Island Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) on Melville Island.
  • For more information go to the Tiwi Land Council website www.tiwilandcouncil.com or Facebook @TheTiwi-Online. Or call (08) 8997 ... .


Remember – We’re all in this Together! Stay on Country, Care for Family!

Darwin 0800