Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New projects to support Indigenous communities in north-west NSW

Remote Indigenous communities in north-west New South Wales will share in more than $579,000 from the Australian Government for three community projects in Walgett and Wilcannia.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Duty Senator for Parkes, Matt Thistlethwaite, said the funding would upgrade community facilities and provide more opportunities for local youth.

“Walgett police will now be able to provide a modified van to help young people in the area participate in after school activities and holiday programs,” Ms Macklin said.

“The van will operate at least five days a week and will give local kids the chance to be involved in things like kayaking, swimming and barbeques, helping them to avoid anti-social or violent behaviour, as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

“This new investment will also help local police officers and our Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers promote responsible behaviour and community engagement among local youth, as well as teaching young people the importance of staying in school or training and getting a job.”

Senator Thistlethwaite said the funding would also be used to upgrade community hubs at the Namoi and Gingie Reserves in the Walgett area.

“At Namoi, the community hub will be connected to the town’s water supply and sewerage system, while at Gingie the hub will see electrical, lighting and plumbing improvements.

“We are also upgrading facilities in Baker Park in Wilcannia to provide more recreational options for the community, with new children’s play equipment, barbeques and picnic tables,” Senator Thistlethwaite said.

Funding for these projects is part of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Remote Service Delivery Special Account.

The Government has invested $46 million over three years through the Indigenous Remote Service Delivery Special Account for high-priority projects in remote communities, focusing on projects identified by communities as part of their Local Implementation Plans.

These projects build on the Australian Government’s unprecedented investment to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.