Mining will not be on Groote Eylandt forever and the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) needs to prepare for the point in time when mining ceases (current mine life is 15 years). The ALC is tracking the fluctuations in the world economy and wants to invest now for a viable, culturally rich, sustainable and low cost economy, not dependent upon mining royalty income.
The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to allow the Anindilyakwa people to take the future into their own hands.
The objectives of the consultative processes that underpinned this document were two-fold: To ensure that Traditional Owners make informed decisions. To ensure that decision making processes are consistent with the cultural tenets and drivers by which Traditional Owners make choices within their own culture.
The Strategic Plan recognises that decisions made outside of these parameters will hold minimal legitimacy and will not engage Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island people in applying the plan.
- In protecting land, the ALC is to consolidate the rapid expansion of its Land and Sea Ranger program to preserve the pristine ecology of the Groote archipelago. The ALC must keep close environmental accountabilities provided for under the Mining Agreement with GEMCO and work with all major stakeholders on the islands in the same spirit of cooperation and best practice environmental management.
- Significant issues currently face Anindilyakwa people around education, health and essential services in the Groote archipelago.There is a view growing in the community that a residential college be established away from Angurugu for year 5 and 6 students to break a generational lack of support to attend school.
- This Strategic Plan has analysed the future demand for services for the aged, Machado Joseph Disease (MJD) patients and sufferers from other chronic disease. Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island’s senior population is expected to nearly triple in the next 15 years. There is expected to be a marked increase in the number of people requiring aged and/or disability care services as well as an increase in the number of carers needing to access respite services.
- Community members and leaders have approached the ALC to lobby for more services to be provided for renal failure patients in the Groote archipelago, rather than for these services to be provided for in Darwin. The current dialysis unit for treating this condition is currently based in Angurugu and is inadequate. Most are treated in Gove or Darwin. Research is required into the scale of this people suffering from renal failure and for the on island unit to be suitably expanded to meet demand.
- The Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) delivered 80 new houses, 43 rebuilds and 60 renovations to Anindilyakwa communities in 2011 and 2012. It is understood some 20 houses are still needed in Angurugu to address overcrowding.