By ERWIN CHLANDA
A Client Management System Alignment dealing with an estimated 2000-3000 children and their families* and costing $66.9m initially will top out at $229m while the NT Government is considered to be broke.
Acting Minister for Territory Families, Ken Vowles, gave this response to questions from the Alice Springs News Online.
He says the CMSA “will better protect children from abuse and improve youth justice. The need for this new system was highlighted in the Royal Commission report and also in recent reviews by the Children’s Commissioner.
“Crucially, the new system will increase information sharing between agencies, significantly improve record keeping and reporting, and provide a single source of truth for frontline workers in child protection and youth justice.
“The tender has not yet been awarded.”
Meanwhile Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss, whom we asked whether the Red CentreNATS would continue to receive government support despite the fiscal crises, quoted crowd figures demonstrated to be false.
Ms Moss said: “In 2018, participation numbers increased at the Red CentreNATS. More than 15,000 people attended, which saw a return of $4.2 million in estimated visitor expenditure.”
In fact an investigation by the News, with information obtained through a question in Parliament by Araluen Member Robyn Lambley, revealed that just 6100 tickets were sold.
The government has repeatedly quoted “through the gate” figures as numbers of people attending, while most individuals undoubtedly passed through several gates during the course of the various event stages at the NATS.
Ms Moss (at left) says: “The government’s record $103m Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package has seen an investment of an additional $20.78 million into festivals, events and other tourism experiences.
“As part of the stimulus package, $650,000 was invested in upgrades at the Alice Springs Inland Dragway, (scene of a horrendous accident last year) to enhance the spectator experience and safety for both the burnouts and drag racing competitions, which, in addition, will attract more events and visitors to the Territory.
“Our festivals and events are critical for the Territory, as they cement our reputation as an exciting place to live and visit, boost our economy and create many local jobs.”
Ms Moss also says the National Aboriginal Art Gallery will still go ahead despite the record government deficit and “deliver significant economic, social and cultural benefits to the people of Alice Springs.
“Our government will also fund the construction of a new rugby facility in Alice Springs, in consultation with Alice Springs Town Council and sporting groups.
“The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is creating local jobs.”
* As no information has been provided about the number of clients this system will cater for, this figure is an estimate based on Territory Families annual report figures (p 16): 2007 children and families receiving casework services in 2016-17; 1061 children in out-of-home-care in 2017-18.
CORRECTION December 19:
The $66.9m funding for the Client Management System Alignment is part of the Territory Labor Government’s $229m response to the Royal Commission. The Alice Springs News Online regrets the error.