There was very little in terms of a public gallery for a high level visit of Federal parliamentarians today.
The Federal MPs visited Katherine as part of an inquiry into economic engagement with Traditional Owners.
The Northern Australia Committee held a public hearing in Katherine to hear evidence from Land Councils, Native Title holders, Indigenous business leaders, local councils and other stakeholders.
In Katherine, those listed to appear before the inquiry included the Jawoyn Association, NT Cattlemen's Association, Roper Gulf Regional Council Centrefarm/ALSEDA and NARMCO.
The hearing was held at Roper Gulf's Crawford Street offices.
Committee chair Warren Entsch says with almost half of the Territory's land mass and 80% of its coastline granted as Aboriginal freehold, the NT is potentially a land of opportunity for Indigenous Australians-the key is finding a way to engage Indigenous people in exploring the opportunities their lands provide.
In its submission, the Northern Territory Government notes that "approximately 30 per cent of the NT's population is Aboriginal", and that "Aboriginal Territorians own or have rights and interests in a substantial portion of the Territory's land mass and a large majority of its coastline. This made 'Aboriginal Territorians key drivers and partners in the NT's economic future".
To date, the committee has received 35 submissions and held four public hearings.
Senator Sam McMahon and Lingiari MP Warren Snowdon are both members of this committee.
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