The Central Australian community of Mutitjulu has secured a landmark leasing deal after a six year legal battle with the Federal Government.
The deal, signed yesterday by the Central Land Council, will give the community a security of tenure it has not had since the land was handed back to traditional owners and leased to the federal government in 1985.
Residents have suffered from a lack of proper services and earlier in the year the town’s bush court was threatened with closure – potentially forcing residents to travel to Alice Springs to attend court.
Central Land Council chairman Sammy Wilson told the ABC through interpreter Patrick Hookey that the deal gives the community legitimacy in the Western system.
The sublease will initially be held by a federal agency until the community establishes a traditional-owner controlled corporation.