The Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation was born at an historic native title meeting in Daly Waters in September 2020, when 45 Native Title holders from the Beetaloo Sub-basin took back control of our rights.
We voted to again rely on traditional decision-making processes that honour the advice of the Jungai, or cultural police, in relation to matters that impact our country, sacred sites and songlines.
We were registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations on 9 October 2020 and currently have over 60 members.
Our members include native title holders and Traditional Owners from the Amungee Mungee, Beetaloo, Hayfield, Kalala, Newcastle Waters - Murranji, Nutwood Downs, Shenandoah, Tandyidgee, Tanumbirini, Daly Waters Township, Ucharonidge native title determinations.
Why we formed
For decades governments have worked to help companies wanting to profit from our lands, ignoring our native title rights.
We are worried about the impacts of fracking on our country, water, animals and sacred sites. Fracking companies are operating on our country under exploration agreements signed decades ago. When our elders gave their “consent” to fracking in the Beetaloo Basin from as early as 2004, they were not properly consulted or given the right information to make an informed decision. When agreements were signed we never imagined fracking on our country would occur at such an enormous scale.
Today, our voice is not being heard.
Problems with representation
The Federal Native Title Act set up a scheme which intended that recognised native title groups have their own representative corporation (known as a Prescribed Body Corporate, or PBC), which is controlled by them, to facilitate their interaction with third parties like governments, miners and developers.
In the Top End of the Northern Territory, unlike the rest of Australia, the Top End (Default) PBC (TED PBC), was established to serve this function. The Northern Land Council (NLC), which negotiates with mining companies, is the managing entity of the TED PBC and controls its operations. The NLC has told Parliamentary Inquiries that this unacceptable arrangement was only meant to be temporary, and only for quiet areas without industrial development.
Unfortunately, the Top End PBC does not adequately represent or engage with all native title holders. Nurrdalinji is concerned that the NLC has effectively centralised control of all native title negotiations in the Top End and that members are unable to make decisions about their country and future except on terms set by the NLC.
We have consistently expressed our concerns that both the TED PBC and NLC are not properly talking to us, listening to us or representing us. Nurrdalinji has formed the view that the NLC is primarily in the business of facilitating fracking, rather than enabling members to make their own decisions about fracking, in a free and informed way.
What we want
Nurrdalinji is speaking up as one people about how we want to manage our Country. We talk to people in our communities, at hearings in parliament, in the media and at meetings with government agencies and politicians. We ask that:
- The Northern Land Council properly advises us and faithfully represents our views and starts to respect our right to determine what happens on our country, so we can organise, take advice, make timely group decisions and engage effectively with fracking companies, governments and other developers.
- Fracking companies properly consult with us, inform us of what development is planned and act on our concerns.
- The Federal government stop handing millions of dollars to fracking companies which are damaging our country and instead support better housing, education and health services for communities.
|Chair: Samuel Sandy
|Deputy Chair: Rowena Albert
|Director: Elaine Sandy
|Director: Joni Wilson
|Director: Mark Raymond
|Director: Janet Gregory