Wednesday, 2 December 2020
Statements by Members
Native Title: Anthony Lagoon
Last Thursday I had the great honour and privilege to attend a land handover ceremony at the Mary Ann Dam at Tennant Creek. The land handover ceremony was to the traditional owners of Wampaya country north-east of Tennant Creek. They received title to six square kilometres—understand this: six square kilometres!—of land on the Anthony Lagoon pastoral lease, which, combined with Eva Downs, it's neighbour who they work with, is 9,346 square kilometres. This handback was made to representatives of the Gagaguwaja Aboriginal Land Trust and was made by the Hon. Ken Wyatt.
The grant was the result of a settlement deed between the Northern Land Council; the Northern Territory of Australia; and the Australian Agricultural Company, AACo, to finalise Anthony Lagoon land claim No. 74, which included the land swap arrangement with pastoral interests.
That land claim was lodged in 1983. The proponents of that land claim have mostly passed away. This final grant, made after so many years, was as a result of the very hard work and dedication from people from the Northern Land Council representing the traditional owners, and they are to be congratulated. It's just so sad that it took so long, and it's so sad that it's such a small pocket of land.