NT Emergency Response – Good progress in first month but long road ahead
Survey teams have visited almost 30 Indigenous communities in the NT during the first month of the Government’s emergency response to protect Aboriginal children from abuse.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today said 15 extra police were already on the ground in six communities and five communities have health assessment teams in place.
“Compared to this time last year when many people were in denial about the extent of the problems in indigenous communities, we have come a long away,” Mr Brough said.
“But there is no doubt we have a long way to go and today I can reaffirm the Government’s commitment to stick with this major task.”
Mutitjulu, Utopia and Nyirripi each have received three additional police, while Imanpa, Haasts Bluff and Santa Theresa have each received two extra police officers. Three additional police will be placed at Willowra by the end of this week
“The survey teams have discovered some common issues across the communities visited so far, such as the need for more policing, more activities for young people and improvements to housing.
“Government Business Managers (GBM) have begun managing the delivery of Government services across six communities, including Imanpa, Santa Theresa, Mutitjulu, Titjikala, Finke and Kintore.
“Further managers are being selected from an amazing response of 272 applications received from senior public servants.
“The response to lend a hand from professionals and volunteers has been great, with over 550 people such as health professionals, teachers, and community and social workers registering their interest.
“NORFORCE, which has been working with Indigenous communities for many years has supported the survey and health teams with transport, logistics and accommodation. NORFORCE personnel have been a hit with communities, particularly the children.
“More police and health teams will be deployed over the coming weeks. The Taskforce has already held two meetings and Operational Commander Major General Dave Chalmers is now operating out of Alice Springs directing the emergency response.
“Drafting of legislation is well advanced to allow legislative measures to be put in place as quickly as possible.
“The response from all involved has been outstanding and we have achieved some good early results, but we are under no illusion that the road ahead will be long, and at times very rough,” Mr Brough said.
Communities visited by survey teams
- Atitjere (Harts Range)
- Haasts Bluff
- Mt Liebig
- Pmara Jutunta (Ti Tree and 6 mile)
- Robinson River
- Santa Teresa
- Wallace Rockhole
Visits by pre-survey teams this week.
- Tennant Creek
- Arnhem Land