Most of Alyawarr land is covered by pastoral leases, including: Epanara; Davenport/Murchison; Murray Downs; Elkedra; Ammaroo; Derry Downs; McDonald Downs; Old McDonald Downs; Arapunya; Orratippra; Lucy Creek; Argadargada; Annitowa; Georgina Downs; Burramurra; Austral Downs; and Lake Nash. Most or all of these were established following the Northern Territory's annexure to South Australia in 1863; the first pastoral lease was granted in 1876 around Alice Springs. Unfortunately, the instructions to deal fairly with Aborigines that were contained in the 1836 Letters Patent for the establishment of South Australia and the protection clause provided within the first leases, were largely, if not entirely ignored.
With the return of our lands, resulting from a Treaty, we would become the lessor in the pastoral leases. We see it in our interests to maintain the pastoral leases as this activity is not, on the face ot it, incompatible with our way of life. Moreover, these cattle stations can help to enhance our way of life, and indeed, Native Title has been determined to cover most of them. But the reality is that we have been living on the margins of them.
Section 70 of the Pastoral Land Act (NT) enables a pastoral lessee to sublet part of the land the subject of his or her pastoral lease for Aboriginal community living purposes to an incorporated body set up for the management of the Aboriginal community by which the area subleased is or is to be used. A number of sub-leases on Alyawarr land have since been converted into Community Living Areas and they include: Alparraralum (Lake Nash); Areyn (Derry Downs); Imangkerr (Murray Downs); Imperrenth (Elkedra); and Welere (Derry Downs). The title of Communty Living Areas is referred to as NT freehold title and is relatively secure. For more information abour Community Living Areas, click here. To view the Memorandum of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory governments to establish 'Community Living Areas', click here.
Thanks to funding from the Indigenous Land Corporation, Ooratippra Station is now owned by Ooratippra Aboriginal Corporation (whose membership is made up of Alyawarr people from Alpurrurulam and Ampilatwatja). To view an ABC article on Ooratippra, click here.
For some discussion on the economic opportunities that might present on pastoral industry, click here.