THE CHIEF MINISTER AND
Level 1, 8 Franklyn Street
Nhulunbuy NT 0880
PO Box 1112
17 May 2021
T 08 8987 0543
Indigenous Voice Co-design Groups
Cl- National Indigenous Australians Agency
Dear Indigenous Voice Co-Design Groups
Re: Local and Regional Voices - Yoh1u Region
This submission has been prepared at the request of the members of the Yoll)u Region Local
Decision Making Partnership Commitment (the Partnership).
The Partnership was established in 2019 to explore the opportunity through the Northern
Territory Government's Local Decision Making Policy to 'simplify local and regional governance
to ensure systems of decision making are Yoll)u led and owned and which enables Yoll)u cultural
leadership and people to be at the heart of decisions for the benefit of their people'. The
Partnership, which includes all tiers of government and important regional and local Aboriginal
Corporations is available at https://ldm.nt.gov.au/about-ldm/east-arnhem.
Under the guidance of a Working Group of Yoll)u leaders, workshops are beginning to take place
across the region to allow Yoll)u to identify their aspirations for community control and self-
determination, and the ways that they would like to engage with all levels of government. This
process was initially delayed to ensure the risks of COVID-19 could be appropriately managed;
while it is now progressing, doing this work properly takes time.
For the past six months, members of the Partnership have been discussing the need to work with
other initiatives and opportunities to support self-determination for Yoll)u, such as the Australian
Government's Empowered Communities model, and now the Local and Regional Voice process.
Many of the proposed Local and Regional Voice Principles are shared across the Local Decision
Making initiatives in the Yoll)u region, including the principle of non-duplication and links with
existing bodies. Members of the Partnership consider non-duplication to be essential to avoid
confusion about the different processes afoot: they are concerned to make sure that these
processes are opportunities to unite, rather than divide, Yoll)u.
The Members of the Partnership therefore invite you to discuss how the Local and Regional
Voice process can work hand-in-hand with the significant efforts already underway towards
empowerment and self-determination for Yoll)u, including through Local Decision Making.
My office provides secretariat support for the Partnership. If you would like to take up this
invitation, please contact me to arrange a time for further conversation.
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We note that while the majority of members of the of the Partnership supported this submission
(or supported it in-principle), some were unable to have the matter formally considered by their
boards in the time available. We also note that East Arnhem Regional Council proposed some
alternative elements of this submission, which w ere unable to be fully considered by the
members of the Partnership in the time available.
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