Aboriginal Development in the Northern Territory - A Study in Two Parts: 1. Impact of Mining Royalties; 2. Self-Sufficiency (with Land Rights)

Shann Turnbull, Aboriginal Development in the Northern Territory - a Study in Two Parts: 1. Impact of Mining Royalties; 2. Self-Sufficiency (with Land Rights), Department of Aboriginal Affairs information paper, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1980

72 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2014

See all articles by Shann Turnbull

Shann Turnbull

International Institute for Self-Governance; Sustainable Money Working Group; New Garden City Alliance

Date Written: June 30, 1980

Abstract

The report was commissioned by the Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in June 1977 to evaluate the impact of distributing mining royalties to Aboriginal Communities. The Prime Minister of Australia announced the commissioning of the report in Parliament on August 23, 1977 with the decision to mine and export uranium from Aboriginal Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. The Minister nominated three areas for the study: 1. Bamyili and inland government advised township near Katherine that was unlikely to be directly involved in mining; 2. Yirrkala, a coastal community that had been receiving bauxite ground rents for seven years with nearby Groote Eylandt community that had been receiving royalty from a manganese mine for 13 years; 3. Oenpelli, an inland church mission advised community in the heart of Aboriginal land that had 25% of the worlds known uranium reserves.

There had been no previous economic analysis of Aboriginal Communities in Australia. The report was undertaken in two parts to allow a year to collect data on the cash transferred to each community by dozens of Federal and Northern Territory government departments with details of the political economy of each community and its social profile. This revealed the cost and nature of financial dependency and opportunity for self-sufficiency with or without mining royalties. The report presented an analysis of the political economy created by the 1977 Aboriginal Lands Rights (Northern Territory) Act that set up Land Councils for their management. Besides adopting a heterodox cashflow form of economic analysis an original methodology was developed to evaluate Aboriginal ‘integrative mechanisms’ to determine if financial self-sufficiency could provide a basis to promote self-management and self-determination as recommended by the Report.

Keywords: Australian Aboriginals, Land rights, Mining royalties, Self-determination, Self-sufficiency

JEL Classification: B49, D31, H11, I131, J15, L29, O12, P49, Z10

Suggested Citation

Turnbull, Shann, Aboriginal Development in the Northern Territory - A Study in Two Parts: 1. Impact of Mining Royalties; 2. Self-Sufficiency (with Land Rights) (June 30, 1980). Shann Turnbull, Aboriginal Development in the Northern Territory - a Study in Two Parts: 1. Impact of Mining Royalties; 2. Self-Sufficiency (with Land Rights), Department of Aboriginal Affairs information paper, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1980. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2419953

Shann Turnbull (Contact Author)

International Institute for Self-Governance ( email )

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