Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Northern Territory Emergency Response progress

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health

The number of people being supported through income management has reached 17,000 under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

This compares with 1,400 people on income management in November 2007.

In the almost three years since the NTER started, there are more police on the beat, additional active night patrols and more safe houses in place.

Strengthening community safety in Northern Territory remote Indigenous communities remains a key priority for the Australian Government.

Progress is being made through the NTER but much more remains to be done.

The Australian Government is committed to further strengthening efforts to reduce violence, combat child abuse and rebuild social norms.

Some key achievements include:

  • Police – 62 additional police in 22 communities;
  • Night Patrol – night patrol services are operational in 72 prescribed communities;
  • Safe Houses – 22 safe places are operating in 17 communities including the Alice Springs and Darwin urban safe houses;
  • Mobile Child Protection team – involved in investigating and providing follow up services for 1,607 cases;
  • School Nutrition Program – more than 7,000 meals (breakfasts and lunches) are provided to school children every day;
  • Dental services – 7,865 dental services, including surgery, provided to 4,949 children;
  • Audiology services – 5,526 audiology services provided to 4,104 children;
  • Ear, nose and throat services – 1,230 specialist ear, nose and throat services, including ear surgery, provided to 1,049 children; and
  • Health professionals – more than 450 health professional short-term placements in Northern Territory remote Indigenous communities through the Remote Area Health Corps.

Legislation currently before the Parliament will strengthen the NTER to provide the foundations for real and lasting change in Northern Territory Indigenous communities.

The legislation repeals all NTER laws that suspend the operation of the Racial Discrimination Act and introduces a non-discriminatory income management scheme.

The new income management scheme will commence across the Northern Territory – in urban, regional and remote areas – as a first step in a national roll out of income management in disadvantaged regions.

This represents a significant step forward in the Government’s continuing welfare reform agenda.

The Government’s welfare reforms will increase parental responsibility, fight passive welfare and protect vulnerable people including women and children.

The Government will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous Australians, empowering communities to develop effective solutions and drive change on the ground.