Case Study

Gunyangara township lease to boost economic development, Northern Territory

Timber workers in safety clothing cutting timber


In 2016, the first township lease on the mainland Northern Territory was approved by the Northern Land Council for the Arnhem Land community of Gunyangara. Driven by the community, the 99 year lease will provide local control over long-term tenure and support the economic and social development work underway by the Gumatj people, the Traditional Owners of Gunyangara.

Gumatj Corporation runs a range of businesses in Gunyangara and the Gove Peninsula area to support local employment, including a saw mill and timber works, concrete batching plan, construction joint venture, a cattle farm and butcher, shop, café and nursery and the first Indigenous-owned and operated mine in the Northern Territory.

The township lease will provide long-term, tradeable tenure to support the ongoing development of these businesses and the creation of new business and rental returns which will be reinvested in the community. It also provides suitable tenure to enable investment under the Remote Housing Strategy, with $5 million being provided to build employee houses in Gunyangara. This will provide Gumatj Corporation with further private housing to reward long-term employees. The housing will be built by Gumatj Corporation, using materials from their saw mill and concrete batching plant.

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