Most of the Alyawarr traditional lands are covered by pastoral lease. For more information, click here.
The Northern Territory pastoral industry was built on the back of Aboriginal labour, until the advent of award wages for Aboriginal stockmen in the 1960s.
We see the maintenance of pastoral leases as very much in our interests for the forseeable future. They can be compatible with our way of life.
If title of all Alyawarr land were to be returned in fee simple, then the Alyawarr Nation would, on the face ot it, become the lessors of the existing perpetual pastoral leases on them and entitled to receive rent from each of them. Under the Pastoral Land Act (NT) 1992, 'the rent payable in respect of a pastoral lease for a financial year is the percentage of the unimproved value of the leased land determined by the Valuer-General under the Valuation of Land Act ...' (s.55). The Declaration of Rate Rent for 2014-15 was 0.433% of the unimproved value of pastoral land.
From 1/1/14, amendments to non-pastoral use provisions under the Pastoral Land Act took effect. These provisions have made it easier for pastoralists to diversify and generate alternate income stream in areas such as agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, tourism and forestry. For more information, click here. We are concerned that these expanded areas of activities for pastoralists might encroach on the range of economic activities available to us. To view the Indigenous Pastoral Program Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018, click here.
A 2006 Review of the Pastoral Land Act also considered whether pastoral lessees should also pay local government rates. It formed the view that local government rates would be both unsuitable and untenable at this stage of the development of the Northern Territory.
The purchase of Ooratippra Station provides a base for training and development in the pastoral industry by Alyawarr people. For a discussion around the viability of Aboriginal-run cattle stations, click here and for information about the Indigenous Pastoral Program, Northern Territory, click here.
It is envisaged that a treaty would provide for lease terms and conditions that were similar or the same to existing ones, including recognition of the improved capital value of pastoral properties.