Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Evans and Snowdon should talk to Northern Territory colleagues

Chris Evans and Warren Snowdon are focusing on the wrong target when it comes to the delivery of services in the Northern Territory and should be talking to their Northern Territory Labor colleagues.

The Australian Government is prepared to commit $10 million for the construction of a private secondary college on the Tiwi Islands because the Northern Territory Government has failed to provide public secondary schooling.

The Tiwi Islands have a Northern Territory Government Minister for a local member who belongs to a government that doesn’t see fit to provide the school needs of that community.

In Galiwinku, eight months ago there was not even a full time policeman in the community and they were told one would not be provided.

Contrary to the Labor claim, the funding previously committed for housing in Wadeye is not conditional on a 99 year headlease at all.

Another example of the Howard Government supporting Territorians in circumstances which are entirely the responsibility of the Territory Government is the work that we have now undertaken to do in Alice Springs. How many more examples do these people need before they step up to their own responsibilities?

It is time people like Evans, Snowdon and Scrymgour looked long and hard at themselves and put aside their ideological bents and put the needs of the local Indigenous people first.

If the Australian Labor Party wants to talk about essential services in Northern Territory communities, they should be speaking to their Territorian counterparts. It is about time they stopped playing politics and started to make real changes.

These are not services the Commonwealth Government provides, we have been forced to act in the clear absence of basic service delivery and leadership from the Northern Territory Government. I might add – I am suggesting options over and above the basic Territory provided services.

It’s not as if the government Marion Scrymgour belongs to opposes 99 year leases – it was their proposal. These are communities seeking to try something different and get something extra and we make no apologies for trying something better than the status quo and I am concerned that Chris Evans would deny opportunities his own home community would take for granted.