Muckaty Land Trust
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 24 March 2010:
(1) In accordance with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (the Act), who were the trustees appointed as members and chair of the Muckaty Land Trust (the trust) by the Minister on the recommendation of the Northern Land Council (NLC) for the:
(a) 2008 09; and
(b) 2009 10, reporting periods.
(2) For each financial year from 1996 97 to 2006 07, who were the trustees appointed to the trust on the recommendation of the NLC by previous ministers.
(3) Does the Minister or the department have any information on what systems, timelines and processes the NLC has to ensure that membership of land trusts and statutory corporations recognised under the Act are up to date and compliant with the Act; if so, what are they.
Senator Chris Evans-The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:
(1) Gordon Jackson was appointed as Chair and the following were appointed as members: Jill Foster, Jeffrey Lauder, Amy Lauder, Allan Albert, Rowena Albert, Jeremy Jackson, Gregory Jackson, Jason Bill, Geraldine Dixon, Karen Cooper and Earl Foster.
(2) It should be noted that members are not appointed on a financial year tenure. Members of Aboriginal Land Trusts hold office for a period of 5 years. The Muckaty Aboriginal Land Trust was established on 16 July 1999 (Gazette No. GN3 14 August 1999), and the first members were appointed on 10 August 1999. There was no Chair appointed at that time. The members were Gladys Toprail Brown, Jeffrey Lauder Jupurrula, Peter Jackson, May Foster Napanangka, Johnny Nelson (Walamanta) Japanangka, Peter Henderson Jalyirri and Dolly Julypungali Nangala.
On 18 July 2002, Gladys Toprail Brown was appointed as the Chair. In addition to the previous members, two new additional members were appointed, namely Dick Foster and Amy Lauder.
On 12 February 2007 the Muckaty Aboriginal Land Trust membership was renewed with Gordon Jackson appointed as Chairman with Jill Foster, Jeffrey Lauder, Amy Lauder, Allan Albert, Rowena Albert, Jeremy Jackson, Gregory Jackson, Jason Bill, Geraldine Dixon, Karen Cooper and Earl Foster appointed as members.
(3) The Department's Northern Territory State Office maintains a database of the membership of land trusts. It includes appointment and expiry dates. The Northern Land Council maintains a similar database to ensure that membership is up to date. The appointment of members of Aboriginal Land Trusts is made by the NT State Manager or the NT Deputy State Manager of the Department acting as the Minister's delegates under section 7 of the Act. Appointments are made within 14 days of receiving notice of nominations from the relevant Land Councils.
Insofar as Aboriginal corporations are concerned, these are established under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006, not the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. Such corporations must comply with the former statute as administered by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. The Registrar is responsible for monitoring compliance by corporations with that statute; land councils do not perform this function.