he views o people living in the Northern erritory will be at the centre o shaping what we do next to tackle the unacceptable level o disadvantagestill experienced by too many Aboriginal people in the Northern erritory.Trough our eorts and investments over the past our years, we have madesome progress. When I speak with people in remote communities and intowns like Alice Springs, particularly women, they tell me that they andtheir amilies eel saer, their children are better ed and clothed and lessmoney is being spent on alcohol and gambling.But there is still much to be done and we know that governments cannotcreate stronger utures without community support and individual determination.I have heard rom many people that the way the Northern erritory Emergency Response wasintroduced by the previous government, without consultation, has caused ongoing anger, earand distrust among Indigenous people and communities.I believe that we must work in partnership with Aboriginal people, leaders and communities aswe develop directions and policies or our uture work in the Northern erritory.We will not succeed in tackling the priority issues that continue to contribute to Indigenouspeoples’ disadvantage—making sure children get a good education, reducing alcohol abuse, andgetting people into jobs—i there is distrust between government and community, i people donot eel respected to take responsibility or their own lives.Likewise, governments must continue to shoulder our responsibility or delivering much neededinvestments, as well as ensuring laws and income and employment support encouragesAboriginal people to live strong independent lives.Given the Australian Government’s existing extensive involvement in the Northern erritory,the unacceptable level o Indigenous disadvantage and signicant unding provided to theNorthern erritory Government, the Australian Government will continue to play a key role inthe Northern erritory. Te Australian Government will continue to support the Northernerritory Government to strengthen its capacity to meet the high levels o need or vital servicesand expectations or service delivery.Now is the time or us to examine what has been achieved in the past our years, looking at whathas worked well and where improvements can be made.We want to build on the oundations established through our unprecedented investment ininrastructure and improved services. More police stationed in remote communities, moreteachers in schools, health checks or children, health proessionals on the ground, new crèchesand playgroups, and across the erritory 310 new houses and 1400 rebuilds and reurbishments.ogether we need to conront the problems that remain, and work to ensure children areattending school, break the cycle o welare dependence, and take strong measures to tackle thedevastation caused by alcohol abuse.Te Government will be talking with Aboriginal people in the Northern erritory over thecoming months. I encourage everyone to get involved in these discussions so that we can buildstronger utures together.
Te Hon. Jenny Macklin MP
Minister or Families, Housing,Community Services and Indigenous Aairs22 June 2011
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