Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Deadline is more than reasonable – Brough

“Asking Alice Springs Town Camp leaders to sign a memorandum of understanding in order to secure $70 million in Commonwealth funding is more than reasonable after 14 months of discussion,” Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said today.

“The Government cannot sit on $70 million in funding any longer, when the money could be well spent in any number of other communities for other needs where the Australian Government does have more direct responsibility.

“Keeping in mind that the problems we are seeking to address are for the NT Government and the Town Council to fix; we agreed to help after a request by Clare Martin and the Mayor of Alice Springs. But after 14 months it’s time to commit or let the funds go elsewhere.

“The MOU simply reflects the terms of a letter sent by Tangentyere to me indicating that the leaders of the Towns Camps had agreed unanimously to the terms of the offer – so there is no good reason why the deadline can’t be met.

“As for calls by Labor urging people to delay and put the agreement at risk, it’s a clear sign to me that the ALP would rather play politics than take real steps to improve the lives of people in the Town Camps – and for that matter the broader population of Alice Springs.

“The ALP has offered nothing to help these people and my offer was in direct response to a request for assistance from the Territory Government.

“I have listened and we have agreed to a leasing arrangements that everybody thinks is suitable and that, according to the most recent letter, closed the deal.

“It’s now up to people to sign this week or let the money go to other communities.”