Indigenous leaders vent over Govt lease deals

- September 26th, 2007

Traditional owners from East Arnhem Land have expressed concern about a 99 year lease deal being negotiated by Galarrwuy Yunupingu on the Gove Peninsula on the northern tip of the Northern Territory.

The former Northern Land Council Chairman has signed a memorandum of understanding about a long-term lease over Ski Beach and the surrounding land.

Leaders from Yirrkala and Laynhapuy say it is unacceptable for the Commonwealth to strike deals with individuals.

Yananymul Mununggurr from the Djapu Clan at Yirrkala says under the Land Rights Act other affected traditional owners in the region must be consulted before any agreement is approved.

"The Government is not consulting with all of the leaders. Each clan has our own leader and what the Government is doing is they are cherry picking the leaders and they think they know who our leaders are but they don't," she said.