$30 million plan to improve living conditions in Alice Springs town camps
Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough and Northern Territory Chief Minister Clare Martin have announced a $30 million commitment to improve living conditions in Alice Springs town camps.
The Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government will work with the Alice Springs Town Council, local authorities and residents to urgently address problems in the town camps.
The strategy involves bringing power, water, sewerage, roads, rubbish and rates in line with standard arrangements for other parts of the town.
Chief Minister Clare Martin said this is consistent with the initial findings of the Alice Springs Town Camps Taskforce.
"I established the Alice Springs Town Camps Task Force last year to deal with the problems faced in these communities and the Australian Government is represented on the Taskforce.
Minister Brough said: "We want a healthier and safer living environment and improve accommodation and services for residents in up to 18 town camps".
The Australian Government is contributing $20 million immediately to upgrade infrastructure and essential services, build new town camps sites with amenities and construct hostel-style accommodation – $10 million of that will be from the Aboriginal Benefit Account (ABA).
The NT Government has committed $10 million to fund the construction of new housing and accommodation.
Both Governments have also agreed that urgent attention is required to address the issue of visitor accommodation. New temporary accommodation camp sites will be built with amenities along with hostel – style accommodation.
The Australian Government this week also announced that buildings from the moth-balled Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre will be gifted to Indigenous communities in South Australia and Central Australia.
Some of the buildings, including accommodation units, toilet blocks and demountable classrooms will be used for accommodation in Alice Springs.
Minister Brough has also agreed to support any alcohol management plan proposed by the Northern Territory Government and the Commonwealth will provide assistance for any specialist facilities which are required.