Business on country: Land use diversification on the Indigenous estate

Strategic policy development
Traditional Owner Led business
Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
18 months
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Ian Biggs


  • North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA)
  • Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research, Charles Darwin University
  • Northern Land Council
  • The Trustee for the Nature Conservancy Australia Trust


This project seeks to develop a northern Australian network and engagement framework for Indigenous landowners and managers on how to progress development and a fee for services sector across the Indigenous Estate.

In an effort to address identified gaps in information and analysis about the use and development of Indigenous land and sea estates, this project will develop a framework to share understandings of opportunities and constraints for economic diversification. Analysis of existing commercial land and resource uses will be undertaken to better inform future planning, specifically whole-of-estate land use and economic diversification plans.

It is expected the final project report will provide a realistic evaluation of options for land development and issues in managing environmental and cultural values on the Indigenous estate across northern Australia and inform government policy in supporting on-ground planning for land and resource development on the Indigenous estate.


Expected outcomes

  • The project facilitates Indigenous effort to generate commercial returns from their lands.
  • The success of this phase of the larger project will be indexed by estimates of the number of local full time and seasonal jobs generated directly and indirectly (e.g. by direction of incomes from developments to other favoured work).
  • Aboriginal landowners will be supported through Aboriginal owned and led institutions to make sound commercial decisions about uses of their land which are compatible with customary obligations.
  • Improvements in local control over decision-making, including management of returns on investment will contribute to growing capacity and wellbeing.