Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$4.5 million for infrastructure on the APY Lands

The Australian Government has contributed $4.5 million towards construction of new offices and accommodation for police specialists, and a safe house in Umuwa in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

This is in addition to the $19 million the Australian Government has already committed to respond to the recommendations of the Mullighan Inquiry.

The shocking plight of young children revealed by the Mullighan Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the APY Lands demanded immediate and urgent action by the South Australian and Australian Governments to protect children.

The new complex will include office space for police officers specialising in domestic violence and sexual assault.

It will also provide accommodation for specialists temporarily visiting the APY Lands for investigations into abuse. These specialists will include officers from the South Australian Police, forensic and medical specialists and child support services.

Part of the $19 million will enable the South Australian Government to establish a police station at Mimli, in addition to those already committed and funded by the Australian Government for construction at Amata and Pukatja.

It is expected that the new police stations will be fully operational by the second half of 2009. Four police officers will be at each location.

Housing is also being constructed for the extra 8 police and 5 child protection workers committed by the South Australian Government in response to the Mullighan Inquiry.

The South Australian Government-run safe house for people escaping actual and potentially dangerous or abusive situations will be located within the new complex.

The safe house will provide children and their family members who need to be removed from the community with safe accommodation and support.

This facility will also be able to provide transition accommodation, support and a safe return to community for children following child protection assessments and medical intervention.

Commissioner Mullighan also recommended the South Australian Government consult with the Courts Administration Authority and interested agencies to establish what facilities are required to enable courts to operate effectively and efficiently on the Lands.

The South Australian Government will assess whether this new complex can include the space for court hearings.