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Central location for Indigenous Task Force.



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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS ELLISON MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CUSTOMS MANAGER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN THE SENATE SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 7260 Facsimile: (02) 6273 7098

E096 /06 5/10/2006

Central location for Indigenous Task Force

The opening of the Alice Springs office of the National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse Intelligence Task Force represents the significant progress being made in dealing with the problem of violence and child abuse in indigenous communities, the Minister for Justice, Senator Chris Ellison said in Alice Springs today.

The Task Force is led by the Australian Crime Commission with support from state and territory law enforcement agencies and the Australian Federal Police.

Senator Ellison said the ‘whole of government’ approach to tackling violence and child abuse in indigenous communities was a key component of the comprehensive package agreed to by the Australian Police Minister’s Council and Commonwealth of Australian Governments to restore security within Indigenous communities.

The Task Force is one of the corner stones of the Government’s $130 million package to improve law and order announced by Minister Mal Brough at the Intergovernmental Summit on Violence and Child Abuse in Indigenous Communities in June this year.

Senator Ellison said the rapid establishment of the Task Force reflected the commitment of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and law enforcement agencies to deal with the problem of violence and child abuse in indigenous communities.

“It is a national effort, reflected by the involvement of personnel from the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police, Northern Territory Police, and South Australian Police in the Alice Springs office,” Senator Ellison said.

“The Task Force will collect, analyse and disseminate intelligence to Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement agencies - to provide a whole of government response to address allegations of violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities,” Senator Ellison said.

“Intelligence efforts will be underpinned by a coordinated program of community visits, undertaken in close consultation with local authorities to ensure the highest priority locations are included.

“The task force will engage with Indigenous individuals and groups through training relevant task force members in Indigenous culture and using qualified interpreters.

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Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 7260 Facsimile: (02) 6273 7098

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“It will build trust and relationships with people such as elders and women’s groups so they have the confidence to come forward, and it will work closely with related initiatives, such as the Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse in the Northern Territory.

“The intelligence gathered and shared by the ACC with all state and territory police and other government and non-government agencies will enhance national understanding and will provide an accurate picture of these very serious allegations,” Senator Ellison said.

The NITF will operate until 30 June 2007, unless extended by the ACC Board.

For further information about the ACC and its body of work known as its Determinations, visit: http://www.crimecommission.gov.au

Media inquiries: Matt Francis (02) 6277 7260 0406 052 038

ACC - Jim Hosie (02) 6243 6648 0409 603 637