The Northern Territory Government on 1 July 1978 took responsibility for all essential services for Aboriginal communities from the Commonwealth Government.
Essential services were defined as power, water, sewerage, roads, barge landings and airstrips.
The Northern Territory Government Department of Planning and Infrastructure has management and responsibility for barge landings servicing the major aboriginal communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
Barge landings are critical to the economic and social well being of island communities and remote communities isolated by road during the wet season.
Barge services are critical for essential deliveries of bulk goods such as housing materials, fuel and plant and equipment.
Use of barge services for such bulk and general cargo also protects the vulnerable road networks in remote communities.
There are 14 landings managed by the Northern Territory Government: