Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Northern Territory Emergency Response progress

More police on the beat, greater access to healthy foods and 71active night patrols are some of the key outcomes of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

In the two years since the NTER began, there have been significant improvements in the services delivered in the 73 prescribed communities, town camps and associated outstations across the Northern Territory.

The NTER is making good progress, with improvements in the quality of life in NT Indigenous communities.

Much work remains to be done and we are committed to further strengthening our efforts to combat violence, child abuse and rebuild social norms.

Some of the key achievements include:

  • Police – Sixty-three police in 18 communities;
  • Night Patrol – Seventy-one active night patrols are operating;
  • Safe Houses – Eighteen safe houses are operating in 14 communities;
  • Child Health Checks – An estimated 13,926 Child Health Checks have been undertaken;
  • Dental Services – 4,171 dental services, including surgery, have been provided to 3,150 children;
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery – 275 children have received ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery and 416 children have received ENT consultations at a hospital;
  • School Nutrition Program – Thirty-one providers are delivering School Nutrition Program to 68 schools in 73 communities; and
  • Income Management – 14,843 people are income-managed in 73 prescribed communities, associated outstations and town camps.

In a community stores monitoring report released today, customer shopping habits have changed significantly, with 68 per cent of community store operators reporting an increase in the amount of healthy food purchased, including fruit and vegetables, diary foods and meat.

Women in communities are also telling store operators they now have more control over their money and are better able to manage humbug.

The Government is working to re-set the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

We need to build on the positive outcomes that the NTER has delivered to date by working with Indigenous people to develop and drive solutions.

We have started moving the NTER to a sustainable development phase to ensure measures will be effective in the long-term, including stronger engagement and partnership with Indigenous communities.

This week, the Government embarked on extensive consultations with Indigenous NT communities on redesigning NTER measures so that they do not require the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

The Government remains committed to working with Indigenous Australians to re-design the NTER as part of closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

We recently announced the position of Coordinator-General to drive our commitment to close the gap across Australia through the implementation of major reforms in housing, infrastructure and employment in remote Indigenous communities across Australia.