Nigel Scullion

In the last month we have witnessed a most unusual David versus Goliath political battle in the north between Joe Morrison, CEO of the Northern Land Council, and Nigel Scullion, the federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs. Scullion is looking to dilute the power of the Northern Land Council in part by dividing its senior management from its elected members. Morrison, awake to such divide-and-conquer tactics, has called for Scullion to be replaced as minister if Turnbull wins the election.

There is a great deal at stake in this most unedifying public spectacle during the current federal election campaign, which is why Morrison is responding so strategically, forcibly and publicly to Scullion’s proposals to reform or re-form the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.