Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Safer Streets in Galiwin’ku

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Paul Henderson MLA, NT Chief Minister
    The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

A new permanent police station has been officially opened in the remote community of Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island under an agreement between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and the Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson officially opened the $7.7 million station this afternoon.

“Law and order measures are integral to the Australian Government’s commitment to continuing and strengthening the Northern Territory Emergency Response,” Ms Macklin said.

“Ongoing funding for law and order, alcohol and pornography measures has been allocated through to 2011-12.

“This includes the construction of five permanent police stations and the ongoing maintenance of 10 temporary police stations in remote communities.

“As well, we will continue to fund 66 additional Australian Federal Police positions in the NT, including six specialist AFP officers in the child abuse taskforce,” Ms Macklin said.

Mr Henderson said the establishment of a fully operational, permanent police station provides greater reassurance for Galiwin’ku’s residents.

“The permanent police station will provide safer streets, maintain community harmony and improve the quality of life for residents,” Mr Henderson said.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests there have been fewer incidents involving police since a police post was established in the community under the Emergency Response in 2007.

“The police officers were based at Galiwin’ku temporarily as part of the police post. The establishment of a fully operational, permanent police station will allow police to become part of the community and build relationships with the local people.”

“My Government is committed to continuing to grow the NT police force’s capability. There are now more than 320 extra police officers, auxiliaries and Aboriginal community police officers in the Territory Police Force than there were in 2003.

“The NT will continue to work with the Australian Government on policing initiatives.”

Mr Snowdon said he welcomed this step to keep Galiwin’ku safe and secure.

“The establishment of this permanent police station is overdue recognition that Indigenous people across the NT should be able to expect the same level of services as every other Australian living in a town of a similar size.”

The Australian Government funded the $7.7 million police station which includes a general police office, a cell block, two visiting officers’ quarters and four homes. There are also two large sheds – one will house a new police boat.

The Northern Territory Government will provide the recurrent funding for staff and capital costs estimated at more than $665,000 a year.

The Galiwin’ku police station will be staffed by a Sergeant, two Constables and an Aboriginal Community Police Officer.