Joint Media Release with Chief Minister of the Northern Territory The Hon. Adam Giles MLA
The safety of First Australians living in remote communities across the Northern Territory will be significantly improved through a new joint investment by the Australian and NT Governments.
Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, and Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles, today announced in Maningrida a $208 million investment to reform the delivery of policing in remote NT communities.
Under the reforms, which form part of the new National Partnership Agreement on Northern Territory Remote Aboriginal Investment, the NT Police Force swill be given greater flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of remote communities.
The previous Stronger Futures in the NT funding agreement struck by the former Labor Government was overly prescriptive and locked the Territory into an ineffective and rigid policing model.
These new reforms will result in at least 300 sworn police officers servicing regional and remote areas outside of Greater Darwin. Two Substance Abuse Intelligence Desks will be maintained and a third dog operation unit will be established to operate across the Northern Territory.
As part of the $208 million investment, the Australian and NT Governments will allocate funding to improve policing infrastructure around the Territory. Maningrida and Ngukurr have been identified by the Northern Territory Police Force as priority sites for replacement/upgrade.
Senator Scullion said improving community safety was one of the Coalition’s highest priorities in Indigenous Affairs.
“These reforms are long overdue and provide for a far more flexible deployment of police officers to target crime in remote Indigenous communities. This further enables police to work alongside the residents to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and promote community safety initiatives,” Senator Scullion said.
“First Australians living in remote communities – particularly women and children – have a right to live in safety, and a key enabler to this is making sure there is a visible police presence.
“Improved policing in remote communities will contribute to better outcomes in other areas such as getting kids to school and adults to work.”
Chief Minister and Minister for Police Adam Giles said that the Northern Territory Government has been working hard to combat crime and improve safety around the Territory.
“The Remote Policing Model will ensure that police operations in remote areas across the NT are well supported and resourced,” Mr Giles said.
“A more flexible policing model will maximise community engagement across remote communities, which means we can deploy our resources when and where they are needed most.”
The $208 million is funding over seven years until 2022 from the former Stronger Futures that has been renegotiated to focus on improved outcomes in the new National Partnership Agreement on Northern Territory Remote Aboriginal Investment.