by Mandy Taylor
Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation took the first step in implementing a Local Decision Making Agreement (LDM) with the NT Government.
The signing of the LDM Commitment Agreement is the start of a process that will lead to Alice Springs Town Campers resuming control over their lives and homes.
Tangentyere CEO Walter Shaw (pictured above signing the document) said he was optimistic the signing of the Agreement would see Town Campers and the NT Government moving back to self-determination and community control.
“Town Campers lost much of the agency over their own lives and homes under the Intervention and the so-called Town Camp Transformation Plan,” Mr Shaw said.
“In fact in December this year it will be a decade since we were forced into signing fixed term tripartite leasing agreements between ourselves, the NT Government and the Commonwealth that saw us stripped of our voice and responsibilities.
“Tangentyere exists because Aboriginal people living on the fringes of Alice Springs 40 years ago decided for themselves that they needed to control their destinies and make their own decisions.
“Tangentyere fought for and won legal tenure of the land they were living on for Town Campers in perpetuity. We then had to fight for housing and essential services.
“We won the fight to make our decisions all those years ago and 10 years ago it was taken away.
“We have been fighting to get local control and decision making back since then, to deliver our own programs and services to our own communities, to make the decisions about what works best for us.
“This NT Government has offered Local Decision Making under this agreement that we accept in good faith will lead to a transition to community control by working in partnership to develop better policies and ways of working.”
Mr Shaw said Tangentyere was working with the Institute of Community Directors Australia to deliver a governance training package for its members that emphasises practical governance and preparation for local Action Plans.
These Action Plans will be place based and community led and will underpin and inform a full LDM Agreement between the NT Government and Tangentyere.
“We celebrate Tangentyere’s 40thAnniversary this year. It’s fitting that Town Campers are taking the first step to taking back what is ours.”
Tangentyere signs on to local decision making
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