Review of Mintabie Township Lease leads to shut-down

Following a Review of the Mintabie Lease and the Mintabie Township Lease Agreement, the State Government has announced that the lease of the Mintabie Township on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands will be terminated. Twelve months’ notice of the expiry of the existing lease will be given to non-Anangu people who live and work in the Township. The existing leases are only valid for a twelve-month period.

After more than a decade of concerns having been raised with the Government abouCapturet certain practices occurring in the Mintabie Township – such as grog running, drug trading and ‘book-up’ – the State Government undertook to review the Mintabie Township Lease Agreement in partnership with the Anangu Pitjantatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive and the Federal Government. The Review included a focus on all commercial and residential licenses and of the Mintabie lease arrangements more generally.

In June 2017, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation established the Mintabie Review to review look at the Lease and Agreement. The review, overseen by an independent Chairperson appointed by the Minister, was undertaken by the State Government, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and the Australian Government. The role of the Review Panel was to make recommendations to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, on the future management of the township area.

The review was conducted by the Chairperson, Mr Paul Case, and supported by a Review Panel. The members of the Mintabie Review Panel include the following people:

  • Mr Paul Case (independent Chairperson)
  • Mr Murray George (APY Executive Board member)
  • Mrs Nyukana Norris (APY Executive Board member)
  • Mr Bernard Singer (APY Executive Board member)
  • Mr Rex Tjami (Director of Administration, APY)
  • Mr Richard King (General Manager, APY)
  • Ms Rose Lester and Ms Karina Lester (representing the Lester family);
  • Mr Paul Heithersay (Deputy Chief Executive, Department of the Premier and Cabinet)
  • Daniel Woodyatt (Director, Resource Policy and Engagement, Department of the Premier and Cabinet)
  • Ms Melissa Muller (Principal Policy Advisor, Department of the Premier and Cabinet)
  • Ms Alex Reid (Deputy Chief Executive, Department of State Development)
  • Ms Nerida Saunders, Executive Director, Department of State Development – Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)
  • Mr Craig Macauley, Manager, APY and West Coast, Department of State Development – Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)
  • Mr Mike Fordham (Regional Manager (SA), Indigenous Affairs Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet).

In summary, the Review report recommended that the formal closure of the Mintabie Township would be an appropriate action to protect the interests of the APY residents and to remove the illegal and ‘unconscionable’ practices taking place.

The Report also proposed that consideration be given to the closure of the Mintabie Precious Stones Field at the same time, or at an appropriate time in the future. The Review Report makes 14 recommendations relating to the future management of the Mintabie township area. The Government has adopted all 14 recommendations.

A copy of the Review Report, and the State Government’s response, are available below.

The report of the Review of the Mintabie Lease Township Agreement can be read here.

The Government’s Response to the recommendations by the Mintabie Review Panel can be read here.
For additional background information, you can read the following Anangu Lands Paper Tracker website posts:

APY Lands: renewal of the Mintabie lease at:

Review of the Mintabie Lease and Licences at:

Federal Court of Australia rules on ‘book-up’ in Mintabie at:

Radio program 254: MoneyMob talks about book-up at:

The Paper Tracker works hard to provide accurate and up-to-date information. We will correct any inaccurate information as soon as it is brought to our attention. Please contact us if you have additional information or can provide us with an update.