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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Protecting remote communities

Essential social services

The Australian Government has committed up to $23 million to enhance the delivery of critical social support programs. This will help maintain access to essential social services, providing assistance to people where they live and reducing the need for unnecessary travel.

Critical services include:

  • alcohol and other drug services
  • social and emotional wellbeing projects
  • safe houses
  • family support
  • youth engagement and diversion activities.

This support is in addition to other major COVID-19 investments in health, early childhood education and care, safety and employment.

Community Night Patrol

The Australian Government is contributing up to $10 million over two financial years to boost Community Night Patrols.

This funding will help support existing community night patrol providers to maintain community safety and support local communication to assist with understanding and complying with COVID-19 travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements.

Additional funding for Northern Territory Land Councils

Funding of $10 million has been provided to the four Land Councils in the Northern Territory to allow them to address immediate infrastructure needs and travel expenses associated with people returning to communities and homelands.

This may include temporary accommodation if needed to reduce over-crowding, travel assistance, small scale infrastructure and equipment such as generators, portable water tanks or other important items for living on country.

This funding is being made available from the Aboriginals Benefit Account. Funding will not be recurrent, cannot be used for cash payments and is not intended to substitute payment for goods or services provided by the Northern Territory Government.

Food security

The Australian Government has established a dedicated Food Security Working Group (Working Group) that is working to identify solutions to issues affecting regional and remote Australia.

The Working Group includes community store managers, wholesalers and suppliers, transport services, and senior representatives from state and territory governments and other crucial private and public sector organisations supporting supply chains to continue to meet the food security needs of remote communities.

Delivery of food and essential supplies is an exempt category from any travel restrictions to remote areas and so will continue as normal.

Stores, suppliers and the Government are working closely together to ensure goods get to where they are needed most.

School nutrition projects

The Australian Government is investing up to $5 million to expand the delivery of existing School Nutrition Projects (SNP). This will allow projects to continue through pupil-free periods and school holidays, and will accommodate the higher costs of delivering the program in a way that manages the risks of COVID-19.

The program will also be expanded to other vulnerable members of the remote Indigenous communities in which SNP operates, and potentially other remote Indigenous communities outside of the existing SNP areas, where there is identified need.

Ensuring the continuity and availability of nutritious meals will ensure there is no need to risk unnecessary travel for food supplies.