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.
Pirlangimpi is now the fourth and final major community on the Tiwi Islands to be covered by a township lease, and the second community after Mutitjulu in Central Australia to adopt the new community entity model of township leasing. The signing of the Pirlangimpi township lease demonstrates the ability of Traditional Owners, the Commonwealth and the Executive Director to achieve results in line with Traditional Owners’ wishes and the objectives of the Government’s land reform policies.
The Traditional Owners of Pirlangimpi deserve to be congratulated on persisting with lengthy and at times difficult negotiations, and in recognising the long-term benefits that a secure, transferrable system of land tenure offers the community in attracting investment and enhanced service delivery.