Joint Media Release with Deputy Leader of the Nationals Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie; NT Chief Minister Hon Michael Gunner and Barkly Regional Council Mayor Cr Steve Edgington
A Regional Deal for the Northern Territory’s Barkly Region has been confirmed with a $60 million commitment from the Liberal National Government, the Northern Territory Government and the Barkly Regional Council.
The federal government will invest $30 million along with the NT government with the Barkly Regional Council committing significant resources including land, local knowledge and regional infrastructure.
Federal Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the Deal would go a long way to addressing the challenges of Tennant Crek and surroung areas.
“A Regional Deal for the Barkly Region will improve quality of life for residents on a number of fronts, by stimulating economic growth and helping to create jobs,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Regional Deals are all about the different levels of government working closely with the local community to identify and devlop local projects to improve essential services and improve the economy.
We have been consulting extensively with the Barkly community over recent months. This has allowed us to clearly identify a number of priorities for the region.
“The priorities include addressing overcrowding and other housing issues, better outcomes for the region’s youth, boosting key industries such as tourism and agribusiness, tackling alcohol-related crime and improving school attendance rates.”
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Senator for the Northern Territory, Senator Nigel Scullion said a Regional Deal would make a huge difference by improving collaboration, coordination and accountability of service delivery among the three levels of government.
“The Government has made great progress in understanding the community’s priorities and what needs to be done, speaking with local business leaders, Tennant Creek traditional owners, local service providers, and Aboriginal leaders, organisations and community members,” Minister Scullion said.
“It is critical we keep working closely with the entire community to maximise the benefits of the Regional Deal – particularly Aboriginal peoples in recognition of their ongoing connection to country as traditional owners and custodians of the lands.”
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said a Regional Deal would see a firm focus on both social and economic development as well as attracing new jobs and investment to the region through better infrastructure and economic stimulus. .
“Creating jobs is the Territory Labor Government’s number one priority,” Mr Gunner said.
“A Regional Deal will provide ongoing economic opportunities for the Tennant Creek region and see all tiers of government and the community working together to improve social, cultural and economic outcomes for Tennant Creek and the wider Barkly. As part of this, the Territory Government supports Aboriginal people being at the leadership table as decision makers in the regional deal”
“I look forward to working with our federal counterparts and the Barkly Regional Council to progress this.”
Mayor of Barkly Regional Council, Steve Edgington said the Barkly Regional Deal was an opportunity to develop a blueprint for the future to focus on social, economic and cultural development.
“It’s important we have a sustainable pathway for Tennant Creek and the communities of the Barkly for a number of years,” Cr Edgington said.
“We want to see a focus on reducing overcrowding to ensure children are safe, receive a better education, have access to sport and recreation and improved health outcomes.
“We also want to see an improvement in infrastructure in the communities and work together to break welfare dependency by creating more opportunities for local business and jobs for local people.”