|The last issue reported on the
outstation proposal of people now living at Jinarinji, on Banka Banka,
100km north of Tennant Creek. ("The Long Road Back", Land Rights News No. 15, page 16)
The station has a Grazing Licence over the land in question, which is also part of a current land claim. Recently the High Court heard the relevant case, in which the CLC argued that a Grazing Licence does not alienate land and thus prevent it from being claimed, but has not yet handed down its decision. The fate of the outstation depends a lot on this.
In the meantime, some progress has occurred. First, the Banka Banka station management has given permission to the Department of Community Development for the access road to be upgraded, and for an existing bore to be equipped. The roadworks were completed by September. Following tests of the three bores, the group has decided to move to the westernmost bore (Bluebush, or Nyinijarnpartta) as it has the best water. The installation of a windmill is on DCD's program for the next budget period.
However, there have been holdups on getting other aspects of the outstation plan underway. Although the Aboriginal Land Commissioner's Report on the relevant (Warlmanpa, Warlpiri, Mudbura and Warumungu) Land Claim has been printed, it has not yet been tabled in Parliament, and the Minister has not given his response to its recommendations. Secondly, the Aboriginal Development Commission now lacks any funds to proceed with the community's application for assistance in its proposed cattle enterprise.
Another factor which affects the outstation proposal is the plans for the Alice Springs - Darwin railway (see Land Rights News No. 15, page 15, "Railway Line Progress"). The corridor for the proposed railway passes close to the west of the bore which will be the outstation's water supply. The Tennant Creek to Newcastle Waters section passes through the country of people who plan to relocate to the outstation, and they have been closely involved in site survey work in that section.
NOTE: The map accompanying the item in the previous issue showed only a part of the relevant land claim area. Further, the three bores on the Grazing Licence lie on an east-west track (not north-south).