Commencing production in 1913, the Maranboy Tin Mine, located eight kilometres from Barunga ceased its operation in 1945. It was at time, the Indigenous people who serviced the mine re-located back to Beswick Creek, or Beswick. In 1951, due to the large influx in the population in Beswick, the Northern Territory Government began developing the Beswick through building basic housing infrastructure and creating employment opportunities.
By 1965, Beswick had grown to such a size that an additional Camp was formed, this Camp was named Bamyili by the Elders and in 1984, the name was changed to Barunga.
The people of Barunga speak Jawoyn, Kriol, Dalabon, Maiyali, Mangarrai and English.
285 People reside in Barunga with a median age of 23 years old.
Robert Campbell – Barunga Council Service Manager (CSM)
Phone: (08) 8975 4504
Joyce Torres – Government Engagement Coordinator (GEC)
Phone: (08) 8977 4021
By road, the trip to Barunga takes approximately one hour from Katherine on an all weather road. The single lane Central Arnhem Highway is sealed to the gateway of Barunga. Only during severe flooding which occurs only sporadically does the road become inaccessible. Barunga may also be accessed via chartered small aircraft. It is approximately five kilometres from the Barunga Airstrip to Barunga Community. Please be advised that Barunga is a closed community; a Nothern Land Council (NLC) permit is required to visit this community.
Roper Gulf Regional Council provides a range of Local Government services in Barunga including road maintenance and repair, traffic management, rubbish collection, airstrip maintenance and repair, upkeep of parks, gardens and weed maintenance, community safety through Night Patrol, companion animal welfare and control, assets and fleet management, sport and recreation, governance support as well as providing access to Centrelink, community care programs for the elderly on behalf of other government agencies. Roper Gulf Regional Council also operates the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP) in the community of Barunga.
Also located in Barunga are a Health Clinic, School, Store, Airstrip and Police Station located at Maranboy, approximately eight kilometres from Barunga.
There are currently two public telephones in Barunga and also Telstra 3G Telephone and Internet coverage. Digital television is connected to all homes and local radio is provided through Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Remote Indigenous Broadcast Services (RIBS). If you would like a message to be broadcasted on the radio in Barunga, please complete this form.
Local Government and Local Authority Meetings (Governance)
The Roper Gulf Regional Council provides local government in Barunga, which sits in the Nyirranggulung Ward. The Council’s Headquarters is located in Katherine, NT with a Service Delivery Centre located in Barunga.
An integral part of the community consultation process in the community of Barunga occurs through Barunga Local Authority Meetings. The Local Authority is made up of the Elected Member/s whom sit on Council for the Nyirranggulung Ward and nominated representatives from the community. All other stakeholders in Barunga are also invited to attend the Local Authority Meetings. The resolutions made at these meetings form the basis of all planning made by Roper Gulf Regional Council.
Barunga is home to the annual Barunga Festival where thousands of people from all over come to see the culture, dance and art.
Photo from TourismNT