Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Port Augusta taking action to close the gap

Support services for Aboriginal people in Port Augusta will be more accessible, more accountable and better coordinated to respond to the needs of local residents with the launch of the Local Action Agreement for Closing the Gap today.

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Ian Hunter, joined community leaders in Port Augusta today to officially launch the agreement.

The Local Action Agreement has been signed by representatives of Port Augusta’s Aboriginal community, the Port Augusta City Council and the State and Commonwealth Governments, and identifies key actions to make sure local services are delivering results for Aboriginal people.

Minister Macklin said the Action Agreement was a key part of Port Augusta’s Urban and Regional Service Delivery Strategy, which the Australian Government is supporting with $100,000 in funding.

“Today’s launch is a significant milestone in our efforts to close the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage in Port Augusta,” Ms Macklin said.

“This agreement clearly sets out the priorities for the region, including the need for suitable housing, educational opportunities for young people and a stronger focus on community safety.

“Our investment is already delivering positive results with an Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer funded by the Australian Government working with schools and other organisations to make sure Aboriginal people are accessing local support services.”

Minister Hunter acknowledged the work of all levels of government and Aboriginal residents to develop the Local Action Agreement.

“The Local Action Agreement provides a clear vision for the future of Port Augusta’s Aboriginal community,” Mr Hunter said.

“It will help to coordinate all of the good work that is happening in Port Augusta to close the gap, and help make sure Aboriginal kids are growing up in safe homes and going to school.

“The local Aboriginal Community Engagement Group has been particularly instrumental in making sure this agreement is a local initiative that reflects the needs of Aboriginal families.”

Minister Macklin said the Local Action Agreement was the result of the cooperation and leadership shown by local Aboriginal representatives.

“Closing the gap requires genuine partnerships between all levels of government, community groups and residents, and it’s this cooperation that has secured this important agreement.

“It’s this same spirit of cooperation that will make sure the Local Action Agreement delivers real and lasting change for Aboriginal people in Port Augusta.”