Barunga Agreement

The Northern Territory Government and the NT’s four Land Councils have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding paving the way for consultations to begin with Aboriginal people about a Treaty.

The MoU was signed on the first day of the Barunga Sport and Cultural Festival – the 30th anniversary of the presentation of the Barunga Statement to Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who went on to promise a Treaty between the Commonwealth and Australia’s Indigenous peoples, but has remained undelivered.

Under the terms of the MOU, the NT Government will appoint an independent Treaty Commissioner who will lead the consultations with Aboriginal people and organisations across the Territory, and develop a framework for Treaty negotiations.

The Commissioner will be an Aboriginal person with strong connections to the Territory, and expressions of interest will be called for the position.

The Land Councils and the Northern Territory Government will make their extensive regional staffing networks available to the Treaty Commission to organise consultations in communities.

The MoU prescribes that all Territorians should ultimately benefit from any Treaty.

Download Barunga Agreement: Joint Land Councils and Northern Territory Government Statement (156.4 kb)

Find out more about Treaty in the Northern Territory

Closeup of Aboriginal dancer's legs at a festival