Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More than $4 million for Stronger Futures in Utopia homelands

Joint Media Release with:

    Minister for Indigenous Health
    Member for Lingiari

Vital community infrastructure will be upgraded in the Utopia homelands in the Northern Territory thanks to a $4.36 million investment from the Australian Government.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, joined the Minster for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, at the Centre for Appropriate Technology in Alice Springs today to announce the new funding, which is being delivered as part of the Government’s $3.4 billion Stronger Futures package.

“Stronger Futures has a firm focus on improving living standards for Aboriginal people in Northern Territory – in the bigger communities and also in remote homelands,” Ms Macklin said.

“The Government is providing $4 million for the Centre for Appropriate Technology to deliver a range of projects to help families in Utopia live more sustainably.

“These will include critical work to make housing safer, helping residents to reduce their energy consumption and improving the safety and reliability of the local water supply.”

The work to improve housing in Utopia will focus on electrical and fire safety, water and waste management, and washing, cooking and food storage facilities.

Mr Snowdon said the Government will also provide funding of $360,000 over three years for a coordinator position at the Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation so it can better represent the interests of the Utopia homelands.

“The new coordinator will play an important role in negotiating and implementing a plan with the Government to address the key areas of disadvantage in Utopia,” Mr Snowdon said.

“We will also employ two Indigenous Engagement Officers to be based in the Utopia homelands. They will be locals who understand the culture and can speak the local language.

“I’ve seen how effective Indigenous Engagement Officers can be in linking residents to important services and strengthening relationships between Government and remote communities, and I’m confident we will see the same happen in Utopia.”

Utopia is benefitting from a range of other measures delivered under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package, including:

  • A police station at Arlparra, staffed as part of the additional 60 officers funded through Stronger Futures;
  • A night patrol service operating from Arlparra;
  • A primary health care service operated by Urapuntja Health Service;
  • Increased food security through a licensed community store at Arlparra; and
  • The continued provision of municipal and essential services across the homelands.

These measures form part of the Government’s commitment through Stronger Futures to work with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build strong, independent lives, where communities, families and children are safe and healthy.