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Community views sought for the north Australia social justice strategy



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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT COMMUNITY VIEWS SOUGHT FOR THE NORTH AUSTRALIA SOCIAL JUSTICE STRATEGY

The Commonwealth Government today released its interim report on the North Australia Social Justice Strategy for six months of consultation with State, Territory and Local Government, community service providers and the people of Northern Australia.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Justice, Brian Howe, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Northern Australia, Ben Humphreys, said that the consultations were to ensure that the Strategy genuinely responded to the full range of particular needs of people living in North Australia.

‘ "Without these consultations, the work of the North Australia Social Justice Strategy Task Force would be incomplete. The Strategy must reflect the real needs of people and communities in the North" said the Ministers. "We are also looking forward to hearing the views of the Queensland, Western

Australian and Northern Territory Governments."

"Effective programs cannot be rigidly planned and managed from the capital cities. We need new ways to coordinate, adapt and deliver services, particularly to people in small remote communities. We also need to consult on how these services could work better."

The Ministers said that the Interim Report included a wide range of useful information - much of it not previously widely available in North Australia.

The consultations on the Interim Report will be coordinated through the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's Office of Northern Development, located in Darwin. A final report, incorporating the results of the consultations, will then be prepared for Government consideration in

mid-1993.

Media contacts: Mr Humphreys' Office Anne McDermott (Canberra) (06) 277 7820

Mr Howe's Office Jane Robinson (Canberra) (06) 277 8680

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Departmental Contact Neil Westbury (OND, Darwin) (089) 41 3877

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