The Morrison Government is extending the National Partnership on Northern Territory Remote Aboriginal Investment (NTRAI) for another two years, committing an additional $173.2 million to ensure Aboriginal Territorians have equal access to services, no matter where they live.
This brings the total investment from 2015‑16 to more than $1 billion.
Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg said the funding will allow the Northern Territory Government to continue providing core services to more than 60 communities.
“The Coalition Government has recognised, over many years, the challenges that remote communities in the Northern Territory face in accessing the services that contribute to better life outcomes.
“Long term funding has provided the certainty needed to deliver improvements to schooling, community safety, health, as well as access to interpreter services and employment opportunities,” he said.
“This is particularly the case as we implement the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which is transforming the way all Governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“This extension provides service continuity and will sustain around 440 jobs while we work in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Aboriginal stakeholders to agree priorities and the best arrangements for remote Aboriginal communities.”
The end of term review of NTRAI identified that more time was required to work with the Northern Territory Government and Aboriginal stakeholders to design future arrangements that are sustainable and continue to meet the community need.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said $3 million will also be provided to NT Indigenous peak organisations to strengthen their ability to provide advice to Government.
“Putting Aboriginal people at the centre of decision making is a critical part of investments going where they’re needed most,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Building the capacity of Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT) will allow Indigenous Territorians to help guide future investments that benefit and reflect their aspirations.
“This continues our commitment to working in partnership, so Indigenous Australians have a say on the policies and programs which affect them.”
The new funding across the NTRAI schedules of children and schooling and community safety will deliver services such as:
- police services supporting 300 officers to work in remote locations
- alcohol reduction services, including support for a local health workforce and community determined initiatives
- Aboriginal interpreter services to assist with interactions with social and justice systems
- children and schooling services such as the Families as First Teachers early childhood program across 36 communities and capital works for teacher housing
- health services focused on hearing and oral health in remote communities. (Delivered by Department of Health)
The extension also provides continued funding for critical child and family safety services, including women’s safe houses.