Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Income Management Rollout Continues Across Northern Territory Communities

The Rudd Government has commenced quarantining welfare payments for an additional 1,190 Centrelink customers in the Northern Territory (NT) communities of Galiwinku, Atitjere, Engawala and Nguiu.

This latest round of income management measures across the NT expands the initiative to cover more than 7,700 people across 29 communities, and town camps in and around Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs.

The Government is committed to tackling Indigenous disadvantage and income management is a key element in our strategy to strengthen community safety and improve the protection of children.

This measure is an extremely important aspect of the Northern Territory Emergency response. We have to ensure that income support provided to families is spent on essential items and is used for the wellbeing of children.

Centrelink officers have conducted individual interviews with community members to help them understand the process.

The welfare recipients will have 50 per cent of their payments quarantined to ensure income is spent on essential items.

Income management provides better financial management for many mothers, grandmothers and other community members to feed and raise their children.

Early indicators are showing that, through income management, families are purchasing more of the goods and services essential to improving their children’s health and wellbeing.

An initial survey of 10 community stores in remote NT communities found that six stores have recorded an increase in turnover since November.