The Northern Territory Government

We urgently need the community to write submissions in support of the whole of the Kulaluk Lease being formerly added to the Northern Territory register. The Northern Territory government has so far ignored the wishes of the broader community and has instead favoured destruction of the land for the developers.

We need thousands of submissions in order for the NT government to listen this time. Submissions must be received by the Heritage Council by 28th March 2016. You can visit www.greenbeltdarwin,wordpress,com for more information.

Either email or post your submission and address it to the Chair of the Heritage Council. Comments will be forwarded to the Minister with Council’s recommendations.

Heritage Council contact details:
The Chair Heritage Council
PO Box 4198

Email: heritagecouncil@nt.gov.au

How To Make A Submission to The HERITAGE COUNCIL

Here are some points you can use to help you make a submission to the Heritage Council. Choose the points that resonate with you and personalise your letter to describe why you would like this precious bushblock preserved and not destroyed forever.


Although there are many reports, studies and histories of the 301ha Kulaluk lease, none specifically document the land’s heritage values, probably because when the area was granted to Aboriginal people as a special purpose lease, it was presumed that the significant sites would be protected, as was intended by the original land claim. However, since the hand-back in 1979 the leaseholders do not appear to have been interested in documenting flora and fauna, Aboriginal and historical sites, or land usage. Instead the leaseholders have discouraged public access, even for Aboriginal people. For these reasons, documenting the heritage significance of the lease area is difficult; however, some of the better known heritage values of the lease are listed below:

 The Kulaluk land claim played a significant role in the 1970s national Aboriginal land rights struggle as documented in the Aboriginal rights newsletter Bunji, published in Darwin between 1971 and 1985. The Kulaluk lease area serves as permanent recognition of that role.

 In 1971 a Larrakia elder claimed that there are at least 200 Aboriginal graves on the lease in the old burial ground and at least ten unidentified graves elsewhere.

 Maps show a “Pukamani ground” behind the site of the Retta Dixon Home.

 The site of Retta Dixon Home is now known as Karu Park. Historically, Karu Park is an integral part of the Kulaluk lease.

 Fred Fogarty’s hut was an outstanding example of Aboriginal initiative and self-sufficiency, and a meeting place for activists in the national land rights movement. Many of the trees Fred planted are still growing in the area. Some of his signage remains, along with traces of his hand-dug wells used for his reafforestation project.

 A “Kunapipi Ceremony Ground” on the eastern side of Dick Ward Drive behind Harney Street was recognised by the Aboriginal Sacred Sites Authority in 1983. The significance of this site has been recorded by Yolngu elder James Gaykamungu.

 A site behind McDonalds Restaurant was nominated as a site of significance by the late Joe Jefferies and others as reported on the ABC News.

 As reported in the Final Report of the Aboriginal Land Rights Commissioner, Judge A E
Woodward, the Bagot Community lease is socially and historically affiliated with the Kulaluk lease.

 The Interim Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Mr Justice Ward, recommended that the boundaries of the lease extend beyond the high tide level and into the middle of Ludmilla Creek in recognition of the importance of the mangrove habitat for subsistence hunting and gathering for Aboriginal people.

 The Kulaluk lease contains the largest area of healthy coastal monsoon forest surviving in the Darwin area, stretching from Ludmilla Creek to behind Bakhita Village. This forest provides shelter for a range of native fauna, flora and bird life including many megapode nesting mounds. Aboriginal women harvest various foods and materials for handicrafts from this forest, including yams, berries, leaves and dyes.

 The Kulaluk salt pan of about eight hectares provides a safe roosting place at high tides for migratory birds, protected under international treaties.

 The narrow beach running for the length of the lease between Nightcliff and Ludmilla Creek is a designated public right-of-way and is an important fringing area between the mangroves and the monsoon forest, providing flotsam for scavenging crabs, birds and wallabies. The beach also is a storm barrier and facilitates the transference of seeds.

 Aboriginal people and others use Ludmilla Creek for crabbing, fishing and recreation and the creek is vital for a variety marine life.

 The area known as the Rice Fields are a reedy freshwater swamp between Dick Ward Drive and the monsoon forest, that is a refuge for water birds, including Jabirus and brolgas, and includes undocumented historic sites.

 There are various unrecorded WWII military sites on the lease, including one most complete coastal concrete bunkers.

 There are many trees on the Kulaluk lease worthy of listing as heritage trees that are yet to be documented. One tree on the lease near Totem Road is registered by AAPA as “Sacred Tree”.

 There are several mythological stories associated with the lease area. The spring at Kulaluk is connected by an undergound channel created by the “Rainbow Serpent” to other sites such as

Emery Point, Belyuen and Old Man Rock. As such, the Kulaluk area involves many more Aboriginal people that just the current leaseholders.

 Ecologically the Kulaluk lease area is integral with the East Point Reserve and forms a natural green belt extending from East Point into the RAAF Base to Rapid Creek and beyond. The original land claim was made ten years before Dick Ward Drive artificially divided the claim area but the effects of the arterial road can be re-mediated.


If you want further information about the Kulaluk Lease Area, or you have any questions about the proposed heritage declaration, please contact Michael Wells, Director of the Heritage Branch, Department of Lands Planning and the Environment, on (08) 8999 5036 or at michael.wells@nt.gov.au

HERITAGE SITE LINK: http://www.dlpe.nt.gov.au/heritage/proposed-heritage-listings

We the undersigned respectfully showeth this petition against the planned destruction of bushland for the construction of a light industrial estate and associated works on Lot 5182 of the Kalaluk lease between Fitzer Drive, Bagot Road, Totem Road and Dickward Drive which will have a negative effect on the well-being of residents of Ludmilla, Linmarama Village and Coconut Grove, destroy Aboriginal sites, and threaten the ecological viability of a conservation zone/green belt extending from the East Point Reserve, Ludmilla Creek, and the Kulaluk Lease, including Lot 5182.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Northern Territory Government:

- urgently consult with the residents of Ludmilla, Coconut Grove and Minmarama Village regarding the effects on the well-being of said residents by the rezoning of a conservation zone for a light industry estate that will drastically change the ambiance of the area.

- Urgently consult with all Aboriginal people who have a cultural and historical connection to the said land.

- Facilitate cultural, environmental and heritage studies to document sites and ecology of the area.

- Conduct an inquiry into the circumstances whereby the incorporated association who holds the lease to 301 hectares of priceless public land, including Lot 5182, can amend their constitution so that a minimum of five members can decide the future of the lease to the detriment of neighbouring residents and other Aboriginal people and in contradiction to the expressed original purpose for the granting of a lease to Larrakia and associated Aboriginal people.

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The Save The Green Belt Darwin petition to The Northern Territory Government was written by Concerned Residents of Darwin and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.