Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Flexible funding pool for Remote Service Delivery

Joint Media Release with:

  • Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister
    Hon Julia Gillard MP, Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Education Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion
    Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health and Ageing
    Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous

The Australian Government will establish a three-year, $46 million fund to support high priority projects in 29 remote Indigenous communities.

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

We are overhauling the way governments deliver services and invest in our priority remote communities.

After decades of uncoordinated, ad hoc actions from governments at all levels, a comprehensive and sustained approach is vital to provide residents of remote Indigenous communities with the facilities and services you would expect in any Australian town of a similar size, location and need.

The sort of infrastructure and services that support and sustain healthy social norms so people can reach their potential and businesses can thrive.

In his first report, the Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services identified red tape and the inability to tailor programs to local circumstances as hindering implementation of this new approach.

This $46 million fund will allow the Government to respond flexibly and quickly to projects that are identified as high priority by community members, reducing red tape and bureaucratic delays.

Local communities are now working with governments to develop implementation plans that will include tailored solutions to priority needs.

This announcement builds on the success of the Local Priorities Fund established under the Northern Territory Emergency Response.

One example of projects funded through this fund is a BMX track constructed at Ntaria (Hermannsberg) with the aim of reducing substance misuse and other at-risk behaviours in a number of Central Desert communities.

Local people helped build the track and the spectator stand and it is now regularly used by young people in the community.

The BMX program is also linked to closing the gap in educational outcomes. It actively encourages school attendance by integrating BMX into local schools’ learning and sporting activities. Two Regional Education Coordinators work with local government schools to incorporate the BMX program into the school curriculum.

In another project in Western Arnhem, $230,000 was approved to construct new freezer and chiller room facilities and upgrade existing facilities to improve the range and availability of healthy food for the Warruwi community.