Land deal signing brings Larrakia cultural centre significant step closer

Larrakia Development Corporation (LDC) has finalised an agreement with the Northern Territory Government providing land to develop the Larrakia Cultural Centre at Stokes Hill.

The Larrakia Cultural Centre is a cornerstone of the Larrakia Development Corporation’s plan to reinvigorate Larrakia culture, history and language.

Since 2005, the LDC has negotiated with the Northern Territory Government for the development of a Cultural Centre on a suitable site, based on a 1998 Native Title extinguishment agreement related to the railway corridor from Alice Springs to Darwin.

This has culminated in securing a culturally significant and suitable site next to Stokes Hill which is a registered Larrakia sacred site. The Northern Territory Government has  approved a grant of Crown land, valued at $16.9 million, to the LDC to develop the Larrakia Cultural Centre.

The $40 million Larrakia Cultural Centre will be managed by the Larrakia Development Trust (LDT). The LDT is the only trust of its type which is inclusive of all Larrakia families and individuals.

The Larrakia Cultural Centre is a key commitment of the Darwin City Deal – a 10-year partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin to position Darwin as a vibrant and liveable tropical capital city, supported by a growing population and diversified economy. The $40 million Larrakia Cultural Centre is funded through a grant from the Aboriginal Benefits Account.

For more information on the Darwin City Deal, visit Further details on the LCC can be found at

Quotes attributable to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

“The transfer of land from the Northern Territory Government to LDC marks a significant point of progress for the development of the Larrakia Cultural Centre.

“The Australian Government is very much looking forward to seeing the Larrakia Cultural Centre operational on the Darwin waterfront at Stokes Hill – a sacred site, with spiritual and cultural links for the Larrakia people.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney:

“The development of the Larrakia Cultural Centre will provide an important opportunity not only to celebrate the cultural history of the Larrakia people on sacred land, but to have a designated legal structure for the benefit of future generations of the Larrakia people.

“The strong support for this project from First Nations peoples, businesses and communities demonstrates that working together with local communities can deliver more opportunities and jobs for remote communities.”

Quotes attributable to Northern Territory Chief Minister, the Hon Natasha Fyles MLA:

“The Larrakia Cultural Centre is a landmark project that the Northern Territory Government is supporting through the Darwin City Deal.

“We know that one of the many reasons that people come to the Northern Territory is for an authentic Aboriginal cultural experience that is like nowhere else.

“This land transfer will enable Larrakia Development Corporation to build a home in Darwin City for the Larrakia people, as Darwin’s first people, to preserve and share their rich story, culture and language with locals and visitors alike.”

Quotes attributable to Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, the Hon Eva Lawler MLA:

“This $16.9 million land agreement between the Territory Government and Larrakia Development Corporation means the Larrakia people can now build a $40 million cultural centre that will benefit the community now and into the future, through jobs, tourism and cultural exchange.”

Quotes attributable to LDC CEO, Nigel Browne:

“The development of the Larrakia Cultural Centre is a primary example of the LDC developing a centre that has a focus on creating economic and social benefits for Larrakia people and the community at large.

“The negotiations to acquire freehold took longer than anticipated, but is a significant transaction, not only for the fact that we, as Saltwater People, will have a permanent presence in the immediate vicinity of one of our last remaining sacred sites, but the transfer also signifies the formal extinguishment of our last Native Title rights, which had been secured as part of the Larrakia Native Title claim in the late 1990s. 

“Our elders, those who fought so long for Larrakia rights, this is one of their greatest legacies.”