New reforms introduced by the Australian Government are paving the way for the Northern Territory’s mining industry to grow and expand.
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Economic Empowerment) Bill 2021 reduces red tape for current and future mining enterprises.
It’s expected to make it easier to amend exploration licences and fosters more streamlined Traditional Owner discussions around proposed land uses.
The cornerstone of the bill is the establishment of the NT Aboriginal Investment Corporation (NTAIC), which will benefit First Nations enterprises by investing royalty equivalent funds from mining on Aboriginal lands.
An initial investment of $500 million will be made through NTAIC, to be followed on by $60 million a year for the first three years.
NTAIC will also receive ongoing funding to ensure decision making is conducted closer to the people it affects, making it more relevant and beneficial for those involved.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said the bill will be a boon both bureaucratically and economically for NT Indigenous mining endeavours.
“The reforms … reduce tape, by making mining and exploration licence processes easier while still preserving Traditional Owners’ rights, and provide greater certainty by strengthening township leasing arrangements,” he said.
“The effects of growing Aboriginal economies will flow across the NT economy, with more jobs and more business opportunities flowing from the investment. A conservative estimate shows a boost to Gross Regional Product in the NT to be $60 million each and every year out to 2029-30.
“More than 47 per cent of the Northern Territory is now Aboriginal land and Aboriginal Territorians, along with Indigenous peoples all over Australia, are seeking new ways to activate the social and economic potential that comes from this.”