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Municipal and essential services for outstations and homelands in the Northern Territory



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M e d i a R e l e a s e

JENNY MACKLIN MP

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister for Disability Reform

WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Lingiari

SENATOR TRISH CROSSIN Senator for the Northern Territory

Municipal and essential services for outstations and homelands in the Northern Territory

Outstations and homelands in the Northern Territory will benefit from a $221 million investment in basic essential and municipal services over ten years as part of the Stronger Futures package.

The investment will include $206 million from the Australian Government and $15 million from the Northern Territory Government.

The Australian Government has committed to maintaining its funding for a further ten years providing ongoing certainty for Aboriginal people living on outstations and homelands.

This investment will provide support to supply outstations and homelands with access to power, water and sewerage and road maintenance.

The funding will also support garbage collection, dog control programs and operational costs for organisations that provide municipal and essential services.

About 9,000 Aboriginal people currently live in more than 500 small dispersed communities in very remote parts of the Northern Territory.

Since 2007, the Australian Government has provided the Northern Territory Government with $20 million each year to deliver municipal and essential services to these communities.

Aboriginal people have told the Government that small communities need our continued support.

Essential services, including reliable power, functioning water and sewerage systems and safe accessible roads are critical to supporting the health and wellbeing of families living in these very remote communities.

Families will now have the security and certainty that these essential services will continue for the next ten years.

This funding builds on the Australian Government’s continued support for outstations and homelands across the Northern Territory, including in the areas of health, job creation and a reliable energy supply. This includes:

• More than $2.5 million for the Urapuntja Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in the Utopia Homelands to deliver primary health care services.

• More than $1.7 million for the Mount Theo Outstation program, which provides substance abuse rehabilitation and support services to young people through the care of Warlpiri mentors and elders.

• More than $3.7 million for the Laynhapuy Homelands Association to support primary, mental, maternal and dental health care services across the Laynhapuy Homelands.

• More than $19 million to provide employment to 50 Working on Country ranger positions in the Northern Territory. This is in addition to the 280 existing ranger positions. Some outstations and homelands in the Northern Territory will also benefit from a $40 million investment by the Australian Government for the Remote Indigenous Energy Program. This new program will provide 50 smaller remote Aboriginal communities across Australia, including some in the Northern Territory, with reliable 24-hour power. This builds on the success of the Bushlight program, which has helped install and maintain more than 90 renewable energy systems in about 80 Northern Territory outstations.

The Australian Government is committed to working with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build a stronger future.

Date: 28 March 2012

Media Contact: Kate Thwaites 0429 067 500