Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Planning for the future in Gunbalanya

Joint Media Release with:

  • Malarndirri Mc Carthy MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Indigenous Development

The remote Arnhem Land community of Gunbalanya is the first Northern Territory town to sign off on a plan to work with all levels of government to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments, the West Arnhem Shire Council and the local Reference Group of Gunbalanya, today signed a Local Implementation Plan which sets out priority actions in the areas of early childhood education, schooling, housing and community safety.

This plan will drive future development in Gunbalanya and was developed in partnership with the local community.

The Local Implementation Plan sets time lines for specific actions to be taken by responsible parties, including government agencies and the community.

“This plan sets a clear path for the community and governments to work in partnership to deliver real and lasting change in Gunbalanya,” the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said.

“There is much to be done and a lot of hard work will be needed but this plan shows that both the community and all levels of government are willing to work together to improve the lives of people in Gunbalanya.”

The Northern Territory Minister for Indigenous Development, Malarndirri McCarthy, said the Local Implementation Plans were a major step towards progressing the Territory Government’s A Working Future policy.

“We are focused on getting government and local people to work together to make our towns and communities better places to live,” Ms McCarthy said.

“The Gunbalanya implementation plan outlines the future direction and growth for the town and its residents which they will continually adapt to suit their needs.”

The Gunbalanya Local Implementation Plan is one of 15 plans to be developed in Remote Service Delivery locations in the Northern Territory.

It has a strong focus on education and includes an agreement by the community that parents and other adults will encourage children and young people to regularly attend school.

Other highlights include plans to:

  • Construct a 50-place child and family centre to support young children and parents;
  • Upgrade roads, including improvements in drainage, kerbing, footpaths and lighting; and
  • Enhance job opportunities for local people, including an examination of the feasibility of a proposed new arts and culture centre, a mechanics’ workshop with an authorised inspection station, and a government business centre.

Gunbalanya is one of 29 Remote Service Delivery locations agreed to under the Council of Australian Government’s National Partnership Agreement to improve access to government services for Aboriginal Australians living in remote communities.

Under the Remote Service Delivery Strategy, all Australian governments have signed up to a concentrated and accelerated approach to tackle deep-seated disadvantage.

Under the strategy, local communities have been working with governments to develop implementation plans that include tailored solutions to priority needs.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments and the local Reference Group of Gunbalanya have developed the plan for service delivery in Gunbalanya over the period to June 2014.

The Gunbalanya Local Implementation Plan will be available online at: FaHCSIA website