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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Clare Martin highlights need for NT intervention

“The latest comments from Clare Martin regarding the NT National Emergency response, highlight the need for urgent Federal Government intervention,” Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough said today.

“For Ms Martin to say that compulsorily acquiring town camps has nothing to do with protecting children shows just how out of touch with reality the NT Government has become.

“When I met with the Town Camp Taskforce last year in Alice Springs, they advised me that there had been an average of one murder per month in Alice Springs.

“Alice Springs has one of the world’s highest rates of stabbings.

“In May this year, two women were murdered in separate incidents in the town camps.

“In April last year Albert Namatjira’s 15 year old great-grand-daughter was raped and murdered.

“Local Catholic Priest, Father Raass, said of the town camps ‘…these appalling conditions have led many people to despair and exposed children to risk.’

“In June last year Ms Martin said housing was of critical importance because overcrowding and its resultant stress and poverty were key factors in child abuse.

“In my first meeting as Indigenous Affairs Minister with her last year she nominated the Alice Springs town camps as her highest priority because of alcohol and drug-fuelled violence, abuse and overcrowding.

“How can she now turn around and say the Government’s measures have nothing to do with protecting children?

“The hypocrisy is astounding and underlines more than anything, the appropriateness of the Howard Government’s intervention in the NT.”