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Australian first for desert communities.



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Senator Amanda Vanstone

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs

Australian First for Desert Communities

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon John Cobb MP, was in Warburton today representing the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone at a ceremony to sign Australia’s first Indigenous Regional Partnership Agreement and three new Shared Responsibility Agreements.

Minister Cobb said that these agreements commit the Australian Government to provide more than $8 million over 3 years for infrastructure, services and resources for Ngaanyatjarra Council. The Western Australian Government has also contributed significant funding for other projects as part of these agreements.

The three new Shared Responsibility Agreements add to the 80 or so already announced by the Australian Government. They are negotiated with local communities.

The Government’s plan for reform in Indigenous Affairs includes the

development of agreements with regional representative bodies to support the development of strategic projects on a regional basis. The agreements provide a formal framework for these regional bodies to deal with Federal and State Governments.

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon John Cobb MP, was in Warburton today representing the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone at a ceremony to sign Australia’s first Indigenous Regional Partnership Agreement and three new Shared Responsibility Agreements.

Minister Cobb said that these agreements commit the Australian Government to provide more than $8 million over 3 years for infrastructure, services and resources for Ngaanyatjarra Council. The Western Australian Government has also contributed significant funding for other projects as part of these agreements.

The three new Shared Responsibility Agreements add to the 80 or so already announced by the Australian Government. They are negotiated with local communities.

The Government’s plan for reform in Indigenous Affairs includes the development of agreements with regional representative bodies to support the development of strategic projects on a regional basis. The agreements provide a formal

framework for these regional bodies to deal with Federal and State Governments.

“This Regional Partnership Agreement was developed by the Ngaanyatjarra people and will ensure they get a better deal in the future’ Mr Cobb said.

The RPA will support the Ngaanyatjarra Council for three years to work with local communities and government to achieve better ways for power and municipal services to be delivered in the twelve Ngaanyatjarra communities.

A long term vision and investment strategy will be developed with local communities, identifying priorities and reducing bureaucratic red tape.

The Minister also signed three Shared Responsibility Agreements with Ngaanyatjarra communities today.

The first is aimed at improving essential and municipal services in the Ngaanyatjarra communities with $4.2 million of Commonwealth funding.

That includes the Ngaanyatjarra communities and people sharing that responsibility by paying power bills, reducing over-consumption of power, and entering into arrangements to settle any outstanding debts, Mr Cobb said.

The Minister said that Minister Kay Patterson’s Department of Family and Community Services had taken the

lead for the Australian Government in this agreement.

The Warburton Shared Responsibility Agreement provides $167 000 to tackle the difficult issue of education for young adults and builds on recent work by young people in the community.

The community will care for children so young mothers can participate in the education program and will also organise transportation and assist the Ngaanyatjarra College to manage the program.

The third SRA is at the Wanarn Shared Responsibility Agreement focuses on youth, business development, nutrition, education and training.

The Community contribute $120,000 towards renovating the old store into a youth centre and for the fit out of a new store. The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku will provide a youth worker for the centre. The Australian Government provides an interest free loan and funding for construction of a training centre.

Community people have also agreed to ensure that their children attend school and participate in youth programs and activities, nutrition and healthy food programs.

The Minister said ‘the agreements signed today demonstrate the whole of government approach is working, with these agreements directly involving 6 Australian Government agencies as

well as state and local government’.

“‘The agreements show how committed the Ngaanyatjarra people are towards wanting to improve their lives.

“They have taken the lead in getting Governments to sit down at the table to plan for better outcomes then get the results on the ground”, said Mr Cobb.

12 August 2005

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