Kenbi land claim settlement

The Northern Territory Government, Northern Land Council and the Australian Government have finalised arrangements to settle the Kenbi land claim.

This claim involves a large portion of the Cox Peninsula and nearby islands near Darwin. It was first lodged in 1979 and is one of the longest-running and complex land claims in Northern Territory (NT) history.

Affected areas

The area of the Cox Peninsula that will become Aboriginal land under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 is 52,000 hectares.

The area to be granted as Territory freehold, and available for future development, is 13,000 hectares.

Kenbi grant map 

Property owners

The area covered by Wagait Shire including Wagait Beach and Mandorah is not included in the Kenbi land claim area.

Land owners in other parts of the Cox Peninsula who have legal title are not affected by the Kenbi land claim settlement.

Squatters on Aboriginal land

If you have built a dwelling at Pioneer Beach, Raft Point or Tower Beach, and it was occupied as at 2011, you will be granted permission to continue to occupy the dwelling.

A five-year lease is available for squatters after which another five-year lease may be considered. A maximum lease period of 10 years has been approved by Kenbi land owners and will take effect as at 21 June 2016.

The Northern Land Council will issue leases to squatters whose dwellings are on Aboriginal land.

To find out more contact the land council using the details provided below.

Squatters in road corridors

You can get a map of roads and tracks on the Cox Peninsula (956.7 kb).

If you have a dwelling inside a road or track corridor you must contact the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics to arrange permission. For further information see contact details at bottom of page.

Permission to occupy will be granted to squatters with existing dwellings inside the road or track corridors of Pioneer Beach, Raft Point or Tower Beach and will take effect as at 21 June 2016.

You will receive a letter from the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics regarding formalisation of the permission to occupy.

New infrastructure and changes to dwellings within road corridors are not permitted.

Roads and tracks

The following roads and tracks have not been included in the Kenbi land claim settlement and will be managed by the NT Government. You don't need an access permit to use these roads:

  • Cox Peninsula Road
  • Wagait Tower Road
  • Charles Point Road
  • Rankin Point track
  • Pioneer Beach track
  • Mica Beach (Talc Head) track
  • Masson Point (Tower Beach) track
  • Raft Point track
  • Harney's Beach track
  • Keswick Point track.

If you want to use roads or access Aboriginal land in the Kenbi land claim area you will need a permit from the Northern Land Council.

Tapa Bay Road will be closed as part of the settlement. Access to Tapa Bay is still allowed by boat and by land if you have a permit.

Recreational use

The Kenbi land claim agreement provides for ongoing public access to the intertidal zone and beaches of the Cox Peninsula and nearby islands without a permit.

This means that recreational fishing and camping around the coastal areas of the Cox Peninsula and nearby islands is unchanged except for a number of sacred sites where the general public is not allowed to go.

Please respect signs and information relating to 'no-go' zones.

For more information including maps of affected areas go to the Northern Land Council website.

Australian Government

The Bureau of Meteorology operates two automatic weather stations within the Kenbi land claim area.  One is at Dum-In-Mirrie Island and the other near the Charles Point lighthouse.

The Australian Government is conducting remediation works on the northern part of the Cox Peninsula. To find out more about these works go the The Australian Government's Department of Treasury and Finance website.

The works are expected to finish in 2018. This land will be handed back as part of the Kenbi land claim settlement.

Belyuen community

The Belyuen community area is not included in the Kenbi land claim.

Sacred sites

There are a number of sacred sites listed in the Kenbi land claim settlement where the general public is not allowed to go.

Please respect signs and information about restricted areas. Penalties for breaches apply under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act.

Heritage sites

There are a number of declared heritage sites, mainly relating to World War 2, on the Cox Peninsula. You will need a permit from the Northern Land Council if you are visiting a site via Aboriginal land.

Mineral leases

The interests of existing mineral title holders will not change as a result of the land grants.

Future development

An area of 13,000 hectares will be granted as Territory freehold, which is larger than that of the Darwin City Council area at 11,200 hectares.

About 80% of the freehold land will be granted to the Kenbi Land Trust and 20% to the Larrakia Development Corporation.

Future use of this land will create commercial and business development opportunities.

Contacts

General information Dwellings not in road corridorsDwellings in road corridorsPermits to access
Aboriginal land
Department of the Chief Minister
kenbiqueries.dcm@nt.gov.au
Northern Land Council
Philbert Mukundi
(08) 8920 5276
mukunp@nlc.org.au
Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
Garry Fischer
(08) 8924 7539
dev.tipd@nt.gov.au
Northern Land Council
(08) 8920 5100
permits@nlc.org.au

Last updated: 27 June 2017