• A general view at sunrise from Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin. (AAP)Source: AAP
A third chief executive has been appointed to the NLC statutory authority in just over two months amid a crisis sparked by a power struggle.
4 Feb 2019 - 12:24 PM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2019 - 12:24 PM

The new interim chief executive of the powerful Northern Land Council was blocked from entering the building on his first day in the job as a crisis at the top grips the organisation.

The NLC, which is an independent statutory authority representing Aboriginal peoples in the Top End on land rights and various issues, has now had three chief executives in just over two months.

Former Labor MLA Jack Ah Kit turned up to the NLC's Darwin office on Friday but was not allowed in by the current management team led by acting CEO Rick Fletcher, who said he had not been officially notified by the executive council.

The incident is the latest in a bitter power struggle involving personal conflicts, governance and the performance of the organisation that included the sacking of CEO Joe Morrison in November after five years.

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The NLC released an official statement on Sunday night in which its own nine-member executive council is criticised by Mr Fletcher, who said he was only verbally advised on Friday of his sacking.

He called for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion to urgently convene an NLC Full Council meeting, which comprises 78 elected members, plus five co-opted women, representing 54 communities, and an independent person to be appointed acting CEO until the current instability and issues are resolved.

NLC chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi cancelled such a meeting when Mr Morrison was sacked and was refusing to hold one, AAP has been told.

Mr Fletcher said he was not advised who his replacement would be and had received "no written lawful notice of my termination to date".

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Mr Ah Kit, who was the first indigenous minister in the Territory parliament's history, said over the weekend the NLC had "lost its way" and he had offered his services on a short-term basis until a permanent CEO was found.

"We need to take the organisation back to the people and ensure that the people feel that they have real ownership of it, rather than it operating as a sort of quasi-Aboriginal public service-type organisation," he told the ABC.

The NLC's deputy chairman John Christopherson said at the time of Mr Morrison's sacking, "We are in a difficult situation at the moment, we are trying to deal with a number of issues and maintain the integrity of the Northern Land Council."

A key issue for the NLC is resolving the Blue Mud Bay negotiation over access to the indigenous-owned Northern Territory coastline, and whether people will be banned from or require permits for recreational and commercial fishing.