In 2007 the Mantiyupwi family of Wurrumiyanga became the first Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to sign a township lease over their community.
On 8 March 2017 the Executive Director signed a 99-year lease over public housing in the community of Binjari, 20km west of Katherine. The Binjari Housing Precinct lease is the first 99-year Housing lease over all social housing lots in a community in the Northern Territory and the first lease to the Executive Director over a Community Living Area in the Northern Land Council region.
Late 2016 saw the completion of one the major projects associated with the Groote Archipelago township lease, namely the new Umbakumba health clinic. The clinic was also one of the major projects that governments pledged to fund as part of the agreement with the Warnindilyakwa Traditional Owners for the township lease over Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra.
As part of the Executive Director’s role in facilitating economic development in township lease communities, he invested in building the infrastructure to create five serviced lots for a commercial subdivision in Milikapiti on the Tiwi Islands.
On 14 March 2017, Mr Stanley Tipiloura and Ms Viviana Wanambi became the first remote residents and Tiwi Islanders to purchase their own three-bedroom home in Wurrumiyanga under the Northern Territory’s Sale of Public Housing Policy.
On 16 March 2017 the Executive Director signed the Mutitjulu township lease and accepted land administration responsibility for the community, famous for having Uluru on its doorstep. The Executive Director will manage the land on behalf of the Commonwealth and for the benefit of the Traditional Owners and the residents of the Mutitjulu community.
Recently the Munupi Traditional Owners of Pirlangimpi on Melville Island became the eighth Traditional Owner group to embrace the opportunities of township leasing by signing a lease over their community. The Pirlangimpi township lease was executed on behalf of the Munupi Traditional Owners by the Tiwi Land Trust and Land Council as well as by the Executive Director of Township Leasing and in the presence of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Senator Nigel Scullion, during a ceremony in the community on 26 June 2017.
The Mantiyupwi Traditional Owners are seeing their township lease pay off, with their first payment of rent from the township lease made to them in June 2017, and with rent now to be paid to them annually.
Mantiyupwi Traditional Owners had long aspired to establish their own community store at Wurrumiyanga. Signing the Township Lease with the Executive Director of Township Leasing in 2007 and receiving an advance payment of rent helped to make this ambition possible.