Native Title holders in the Top End of the Northern Territory have been working to complete an upgrade of their outstation at Marralum on Legune Station, 100km north east of Kununurra.
The Legune Native Title holders negotiated for the upgrade as part of their land use agreement with Australian aquaculture company Seafarms as one strategy to drive positive change and benefit for their community.
Seafarms is developing Project Sea Dragon, a prawn aquaculture project across five sites that includes a grow-out facility at Legune Station that will produce more than 150,000 tonnes of black tiger prawns.
"We are not waiting for government to do things for us, we're getting on with developing our communities ourselves," said Native Title holder Marcus Simon.
"We have used money from our agreement with Seafarms to build and improve our housing at Marralum so we can live out there when jobs start at the prawn farm or with the Northern Land Council's proposed ranger program," Mr Simon said.
Native Title holder Bernadette Simon said: "It has been good working with NLC through its Community Planning and Development Program. It has helped us make good decisions about planning the upgrade. Now we've got the community up and going we can start a business plan to keep people out there and working."
"I am grateful for the opportunity in working through the Indigenous Land Use Agreement process with Seafarms and NLC. The upgrade to our outstation is a great opportunity for my family and will support us into the future," Ms Simon said.
Project Sea Dragon managing director Chris Mitchell said the company looks forward to further project work and cooperation with Native Title holders.
"We have a continuing relationship with the Native Title holders and are very happy that the upgrade is complete and that they are able to use Marralum to welcome Seafarms people to Country (Mantha)," said Dr Mitchell.
Dr Mitchell said the first stage of Project Sea Dragon has all material approvals in place and the company's board is working with financiers to secure the finance necessary to enable construction to commence as soon as possible.
"The company has undertaken preliminary works across several sites during 2019," he added.
Northern Land Council CEO Marion Scrymgour said the successful completion of the outstation upgrade is a significant achievement for Native Title holders and their hard work should be celebrated.
"The NLC looks forward to continuing to work with Seafarms in the implementation of the ILUA and with Native Title holders to realise the benefits of their agreement, such as the Marralum upgrade using the CP&D Program."
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