Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Indigenous communities gain better access to services

Indigenous communities in Alice Springs will win following today’s official launch by Federal Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony of two new innovative services designed to meet their special needs.

One of these services is the Tangentyere Bank Agency, a community-driven initiative that is a first of its kind for this community and will provide knowledge and skills to help people use the most accessible form of banking.

“Apart from helping the community with the ins and outs of electronic banking, this project will employ four Indigenous people at the bank agency,” Mr Anthony said.

“The four staff will train up to 500 Indigenous people in the use of EFTPOS, electronic banking, ATM operations and the Centapay system, which are services only previously seen in larger areas.”

The other new project being launched today is the establishment of a new Family Assistance Office (FAO) in the Alice, providing a “one stop shop” for families.

“This new service will ensure that Indigenous families have access to the FAO with services delivered in the same culturally sensitive manner as the bank agency,” Mr Anthony said.

“It will also eliminate the problem faced by so many families of having to visit three separate agencies for the full range of family assistance and child care payments.”

As well, Mr Anthony also announced a time-limited trial to test the effectiveness of making social security payments available weekly rather than fortnightly

“This is in response to a request from the Tangantyere community and will help with budgeting and assist residents of the community to move beyond the feast and famine cycle that they often endure and achieve greater financial independence,” said Mr Anthony.

“These two new services are excellent examples of the social coalition in action where the Federal Government, business, charities and community groups work together to strengthen the community.”