Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$14 million for banking services in remote NT communities

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health & Regional Services Delivery and Member for Lingiari

Eleven remote Northern Territory communities will have improved access to financial services and financial literacy through a $14 million Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) grant to the Traditional Credit Union (TCU).

The funding will enable the TCU to set up an additional 11 fully functioning branches in remote communities, which will become self-sustaining by the end of 5 years. The TCU will also establish two service hubs in Alice Springs and Katherine.

The branches will be set up following consultations with communities to ensure community involvement and support.

It is expected that branches will be established in the communities of Nguiu, Yuendumu, Hermannsburg, Papunya, Ali Curung, Yirrkala, Elliot, Daguragu/Kalkarindji, Lajamanu, Borroloola and Umbakumba.

This funding will help build confidence so people can make informed choices about managing their money and budget.

Over the term of the initiative, the TCU will train up to 330 Indigenous people and provide 39 direct ongoing jobs within communities.

The TCU estimates that more than 9,000 Aboriginal people in remote communities will have access to improved banking services as a result of this funding.

The National Australia Bank has contributed an additional $1.25 million to the initiative, as well as access to non-profit microfinance products and services.

This is a great example of what can be achieved when Indigenous and mainstream businesses work together.

The TCU was established by Aboriginal people to provide financial services to residents in Arnhem Land communities who were disadvantaged by the lack of baking and financial services. The TCU has already established 11 branches across the Northern Territory.

The ABA is funded by the Australian Government based on the value of mining royalties paid to government which are generated from mining on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory.