Article – Indigenous land owners granted 'significant' water licences for farming in Northern Territory

16 January 2015
Matt Brann
ABC Rural
A company established on behalf of Indigenous land owner groups has been granted four water licences for agricultural use near Mataranka in the Northern Territory.
Known as Top End Farm, the company has secured up to 6,600 megalitres of water each year from the Tindal limestone aquifer.
Top End Farm’s Vin Lange said it is the start of what should be a ‘significant economic opportunity for the region’.
“It could lead to the development of 600 to 1,000 hectares of farming country which is really significant,” he said.
“We’ve modelled up a whole range of different crop possibilities, including fodder, high-value fruit and vegetable crops.
“But as you would appreciate, this could change depending on what the market is doing when it comes time to plant.”
Mr Lange was hopeful some land development could occur this year.
“The Traditional Owners, having secured the rights to their land, are now keen to use these land assets to develop commercial economies.

“We’ll need to determine the location of land parcels (for development), they’ll need to be clear of sacred sites, they’ll need to be where the TO’s want commercial pursuits to happen and they’ll need to be as proximate as we can to good roads and power.”
Top End Farm is working on behalf of the Beswick Aboriginal Land Trust, Mangarrayi Aboriginal Land Trust and the Wubalawan Aboriginal Land Trust.
The Roper River, near Ngukurr
Courtesy of ABC Rural