Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More than 50 projects helping remote communities close the gap across Australia

A new report shows more than 50 projects funded by the Australian Government have been established in 29 remote communities across Australia, helping to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The Indigenous Remote Service Delivery Special Account 2010-11 annual report shows the Australian Government’s commitment to helping remote Indigenous communities across the country by delivering locally developed projects.

The Government has invested $46 million over three years to the special account for high-priority projects in remote communities, which focuses on funding projects that are identified by communities as part of their Local Implementation Plans.

Projects include improving infrastructure, supporting organisations and leadership opportunities, maintaining arts and culture, and helping young people.

One of the many projects included an upgrade to an airstrip located in the isolated town of Coen, Cape York, which allows planes to deliver mail and critical freight to the town and local communities.

The airstrip is also used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to transport critically ill patients, one of the only ways to help transport patients during the wet season.

Another project-The One and All program-provides development opportunities for young people that challenges Indigenous students and fosters leadership skills, allowing them to also gain a South Australia Certificate of Education points.

The Kimberley Environmental Health Planning project is also helping to close the gap, by educating local people on pest and waste management, good quality water supply, dust suppression and managing roads, which will help to improve environmental health issues.

The 54 projects established in 2010-11, include 9 projects in New South Wales, 7 in the Northern territory, 11 in Queensland, 15 in South Australia and 12 in Western Australia.

These projects are important for remote communities because it provides them with opportunities to further develop their town, improve their skills, and support their community.

Closing the gap is a national goal, which requires the Australian Government to work in partnership with the state and territory governments, businesses, not-for-profit organisations, Indigenous people and the wider community.

The report is online at: