Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Release of the final report of the NTER Taskforce

The recommendations of the final report of Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Taskforce have included annual health checks for children and investment in housing in remote Indigenous communities.

The report outlines NTER achievements during the 12 months since it was launched on 21 June 2007 and sets out its recommendations for future services for Indigenous people in the Northern Territory.

These recommendations along with the findings of the NTER Review, due to report by 30 September this year, will help shape the future direction of government policy to continue closing the gap.

Major recommendations of the report include:

  • Health checks for all children on an annual basis which requires adequate resourcing of the primary health care system;
  • Additional investment to alleviate overcrowding in remote communities in the Northern Territory, while ensuring that the design and location of new housing is economically viable as well as culturally and environmentally appropriate;
  • Government funded mediators to work with communities to find resolutions for internal issues;
  • The creation of ‘real jobs’ in communities;
  • A community store in each viable community; and
  • Increasing the number of police in communities so that every community is adequately serviced.

Important progress has been made in the NTER’s first year, much of it due to the dedication and hard work of the Taskforce members and their staff.

Their commitment has built the foundation for further improvement.

I would like to thank all Taskforce members, especially the chair Dr Sue Gordon for their contribution and my thanks and appreciation also go to the Operational Commander, Major General Dave Chalmers.

The Taskforce report can be found at FaHCSIA website