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The Australian National University

Local governments and Indigenous interests in Australia’s Northern Territory

Discussion Paper 285 / 2006


Australia’s Northern Territory has three categories of local government referred to as municipal, community government and association councils. This paper explores the historical development of these three categories of local governing body since Northern Territory self-government in 1978. Through more contemporary demographic analysis, and some minor spatial analysis, the paper also explores the different relationships of these three types of local governments to Indigenous interests. Two important pieces of background information are that roughly one-quarter of the Northern Territory’s population of 200,000 is Aboriginal and that outside the major urban areas this proportion is much higher still. A later section of the paper looks at the contrasting financial positions of these three types of local government in the Northern Territory and relates this to the very different service roles they play for Indigenous people in remote areas and others.

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CAEPR Discussion Paper 2852.53 MB

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