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Stronger Futures Discussion Paper

Stronger Futures Discussion Paper

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Published by AustralianLabor

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Published by: AustralianLabor on Jun 23, 2011
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Discussion paper June 2011
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 eorts 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 saer, 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 signicant 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 Northernerritory 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 ininrastructure and improved services. More police stationed in remote communities, moreteachers in schools, health checks or children, health proessionals on the ground, new crèchesand playgroups, and across the erritory 310 new houses and 1400 rebuilds and reurbishments.ogether we need to conront the problems that remain, and work to ensure children areattending school, break the cycle o welare 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 Aairs22 June 2011
Minister’s Foreword
© Commonwealth of Australia 2011This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted by the
Copyright Act 1968
, no part may be reproducedwithout prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction andrights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney-General’s Department,Robert Garran Ofces, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at http://www.ag.gov.au/cca.Copies available from: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs,PO Box 7788, Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610, telephone 1800 050 009ISBN 978-1-921647-96-3
1.Building stronger utures 32.Benets achieved through the NER and Closing the Gap in the Northern erritory 53.Tere is more to be done 84.Priority areas or action 9a) School attendance and educational achievement 10b) Economic Development and Employment 13c) ackling alcohol abuse 15d) Community saety and the protection o children 17e) Health 19) Food security 20g) Housing 22h) Governance 245.Next steps 266.Providing eedback 27Sources 28he situation or many Aboriginal people and amilies in the Northern erritory remainscritical. oo many children do not go to school. Alcohol still uels violence and abuse, devastatinglives o ar too many.Four years on rom the start o the Northern erritory Emergency Response (NER), there havebeen some real changes but more action and new directions are required.Central to this is the Australian Government’s commitment to work in partnership withAboriginal people and communities, tackling dicult issues and sharing common goals.Working together to build stronger utures or individuals, amilies and communities andproviding improved health and saety and more opportunities or children will be at the hearto what we do next in the Northern erritory.A stronger uture or children means a proper education that will lead to uture learning andemployment.A stronger uture or children means being raised in an environment that is not locked in the gripo alcohol abuse and social dislocation, where even going to school becomes impossible.Schools need to be a key part o every community and school attendance must be non-negotiable.Te Government is determined to continue to do all it can to reduce the devastation andcommunity dysunction driven by alcohol abuse.Valuable lessons have been learned over the past our years about what has worked, what couldbe improved and, importantly, how much more there is to do in building a stronger uture orAboriginal people living in the Northern erritory.Tis discussion paper sets out priorities or building on the work o the NER and identiesdirections or reorm, particularly to improve education or children, to expand employmentopportunities and to tackle alcohol abuse.It is a starting point or debate and consultation on new approaches and new ideas. TeGovernment wants to hear the ideas and views o Indigenous and non-Indigenous erritorians,and will hold public meetings and community consultations over coming months.Tese community consultations and public meetings will give people the opportunity tocomment on the ideas outlined in the paper and to put orward additional proposals.All uture actions taken by the Government will comply with the Racial Discrimination Act,either because they are non-discriminatory, or because they are special measures. Specialmeasures are actions that the Government takes to help people o a particular race claim theirhuman rights equally with others, and to protect the people who need it most.Troughout the past our years, the Australian Government has been working with the Northernerritory Government to jointly strengthen the way we tackle the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people and communities. Service delivery in areas such as education, policing, socialhousing and child protection has traditionally been the responsibility o the Northern erritory Government. Te Commonwealth will continue to support the Northern erritory Governmentto strengthen its capacity to meet expectations and high levels o need in delivering these vitalservices.
Building stronger futures

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