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Township Leases held by the Executive Director

A Township Lease is a voluntary, long term lease over a Township on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory.

When the terms and conditions of the Township Lease are agreed, a ‘Head Lease’ is granted by the Aboriginal land trust to the Executive Director of Township Leasing who then manages the land in the Township for the Traditional Owners for up to 99 years.

A Township Lease is a mechanism to ensure that Traditional Owners can receive an economic return from their land through economic development opportunities and the collection of rent.

A Township Lease boundary is agreed to by Traditional Owners. The boundary of the lease  usually covers all of the land in the Township, including important infrastructure like barge landings and airstrips, and will include areas for growth and future use.

Township Leasing on Indigenous Lands Fact Sheet – (PDF - Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website)
Township Leasing (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website) 

For more information read our fact sheet What is a Township Lease?

Township Leases held by a Community Entity

In 2017 the first of a new kind of Township Lease was agreed, where a local Aboriginal organisation (called a ‘Community Entity’)  can take over the management of the lease after an initial period of administration by the Executive Director.

As part of the lease agreement, the Executive Director will implement a capacity building programme to make sure that the Community Entity will have the skills to administer the Township Lease.

Like a Township Lease managed by the Executive Director, a Community Entity-administered Township Lease covers an area agreed by the Traditional Owners and covers important infrastructure and land to allow the community to grow. The land remains Aboriginal land.