NLC announces suspension of all permits for non-essential travel

[by Leah McLennan]

Maningrida beach. Image: supplied

Following the statement earlier this week by the Northern Land Council in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that all non-essential travel to Aboriginal communities should be avoided, at its meeting on Saturday 14 March 2020 the NLC Executive Council determined that all existing non-essential permits will be suspended and no new non-essential travel permits will be granted until further notice.


NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour said that “The NLC has received many calls from community members asking that we do all we can to ensure the safety and protection of Aboriginal people in their communities who are very concerned about the spread of COVID-19.


“To be clear, this decision will not affect the permits issued to those people - the doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, council workers and others – that provide essential services for Aboriginal people out bush,” said Ms Scrymgour.


The NLC Executive Council has further directed the NLC CEO to raise with the Commonwealth the concerns held by the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Kakadu National Park about continuing park access arrangements.


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