Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion says Minister Jenny Macklin has not only wasted $150M meant to improve living standards in the Alice Springs town camps she has badly let down the camp’s indigenous residents.
“I have seen Macklin’s houses trashed before their time, not the fault of the residents but due to uncontrolled visitor numbers. These visitors have made residents’ lives a misery and made many of the town camps dens of alcohol, drugs, violence and murder,” Senator Scullion said after visiting the town camps yesterday.
“There are good residents here who want to do the right thing and Jenny Macklin has let these good people down. She should have tackled the visitor numbers before she spent the money on the houses.
“Jenny Macklin trumpeted the first delivery of mail by Australia Post to a town camp last year and that with the Gillard Government’s $150M investment in 86 new and 150 refurbished houses would somehow be the magical solution to the social problems of the town camps.
“It hasn’t worked, and the local Tangentyre Council said, ‘People are under siege by levels of alcoholism, alcohol-related harm, basically the rivers of grog… People are living in fear’.
“Typical of a Canberra down approach, they failed to do the necessary hard work and put in plans and strategies in place that would control visitor numbers and protect residents from the social, cultural and violence problems that have beset the town camps for well over 30 years.
“If the Coalition wins government later this year we will work closely with the Giles NT Government to establish a proper plan that addresses the problems before one further cent is spent”, Senator Scullion said
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Alice town camps visit release.pdf