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First Peoples

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This Regional Indigenous Land and Sea Strategy (RILSS) for the Northern Australia region represents an additional, more focused layer to the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) Group’s strategic direction as laid out in the National Indigenous Land and Sea Strategy (NILSS) for the period 2019 to 2022. These are the first national and regional land and sea strategies that include water-based activities, following from legislative changes to the ILSC and its role.

Key Findings:

  • The Northern Territory continues to have the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in rural areas at approximately 49 percent.
  • In this region Indigenous Australians hold large areas of pastoral and potential pastoral/ agricultural land, and have a rich historical connection to the cattle industry in particular. The ILSC is looking to assist Indigenous land holders to increase their influence and commercial strength across all sectors of northern agribusiness
  • Among the land management issues in this region are: fire management (including loss of traditional Indigenous burning practices), invasive animal and plant species, and the impact of grazing, including land clearing.
  • In addition to the environmental threats described in this strategy, other challenges directly affect Indigenous people’s ability to gain benefit from their land holdings in this region. Property-rights infrastructure (cadastral surveys, town planning) and physical infrastructure (access roads, telecommunications, essential services) are necessary to achieving economic development on Indigenous land. Investment at all levels of government is needed to address these widespread infrastructure deficits, in particular across remote and very remote Indigenous Australia.
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