Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Dog Control Strategy extended until 2010

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Human Services
    Karl Hampton MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia
    Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments are extending the Dog Control Strategy until mid-2010 to help improve the health and safety of children and families living in the Alice Springs town camps.

The Alice Springs Town Council will receive almost $90,000 to extend the strategy until June next year and ensure the ongoing employment of two rangers and a part-time veterinarian to help capture and remove dogs from the town camps.

The Dog Control Strategy aims to reduce health risks to children and families by controlling dog numbers in the town camps.

It is a comprehensive strategy that not only removes dogs from the town camps but also encourages residents to register and de-sex their dogs and take responsibility for their pets.

Since it began in 2008 dog numbers in the town camps have declined.

This strategy aims to reduce dog numbers to the level found in suburban Alice Springs – no more than two dogs per house.

However large numbers of dogs continue to roam the Alice Springs town camps and pose a serious safety risk to children and the elderly in particular.

We cannot ignore the tragic deaths from dog attacks in the town camps in recent years.

It is unacceptable for young children and their families to live in fear of attack.

These dogs are also a serious health risk. They carry many infectious diseases including scabies, which can easily infect people, particularly children.

The Alice Springs Town Council, Tangentyere Council and town camp residents are supportive of the Dog Control Strategy.

This strategy is part of the $138 million Alice Springs Transformation Plan, a partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to improve the lives of Aboriginal residents and visitors in Alice Springs.

The Australian Government has also deployed extra Centrelink support and services to residents of four Alice Springs town camps.

Under this trial program, teams made up of a Customer Service Adviser and an Indigenous Service Officer will work with families in Little Sisters, Abbotts, Warlpiri and Larapinta Valley town camps.

They will take a case management approach to identify the specific needs of each family, linking them to government services including education, health, financial assistance and money management services. The teams will visit each of the four camps regularly.

Further announcements on the roll out of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan will be made shortly.