The spectre of outstations and homelands in the Northern Territory forsaken by governments has receded, at least for another decade.
A $221 million "investment" to provide them with basic essential and municipal services over 10 years was announced this week by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin, joined by Lingiari MHR Warren Snowdon and NT Senator Trish Crossin.
Although the total funding sounds large, in reality it is basically more of the same, as the Australian Government has been providing the NT Government with $20 million each year since 2007 for this purpose.
They are boosting their contribution over the decade by $6m and the NT Government is kicking in $15m.
In another announcement, $619 million was allocated to remote policing, community night patrols and legal assistance services.
This will enable the NT Government to continue employing 60 full-time NT police officers in 18 remote communities, and build an additional four permanent remote area police complexes in communities.
The figures climbed today, with new announcements in Alice Springs. There will be $719 million over 10 years for better primary health care and improved access to dental and allied health services, and another $443 million over 10 years for playgroups, home and parenting support services, youth workers and safe houses. – Kieran Finnane