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Brough is at least correct when he observes that intending visitors must seek permission from a "select group" before they can visit the land. The group in question are known at law as "the owners". There is a fundamental and familiar concept operating here: by virtue of the 1976 Aboriginal Land Rights Act, Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory is private property. The owners are simply exercising their legal right to decide who may enter their property. The existence of the permit system is also crucial to the protection of sacred sites, because it allows the custodians of the land to exercise a measure of control over the movements of visitors.
THE AGE 09.10.06
Maningrida is the seventh largest town in the Northern Territory, with a population of almost 2500 people. There are fewer than 160 habitable houses, so the average dwelling is shared by more than 15 people.
This is a recipe for disaster: Children don't sleep, can't study, and struggle even to get to school, let alone learn anything. Adults are not sufficiently rested to work, even if jobs are available. Overtaxed plumbing systems break down, repairs are expensive, and tradespeople thin on the ground. The implications for hygiene are obvious.
Life chances in these unhappy, overcrowded houses are restricted, consequently residents are at greater risk of psychological problems. The personal security of children in these environments becomes problematic.