THE HON SIMON CREAN MP
Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Member for Lingiari
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
5 August 2010
The Minister for Education, Simon Crean, and the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, today announced progress is being made on three boarding facilities in the Northern Territory.
The Gillard Labor Government has committed to constructing three new accommodation facilities for Indigenous students in Years 8-12 in East Arnhem Land, Wadeye and the Walpiri Triangle (North West of Alice Springs).
In developing this project, Federal Labor has taken the time to honour a commitment to full community consultation in order to secure broad-based community support for the facilities and the appropriate sites for them.
Following consultations, progress has been made including confirming the location for two of the sites: Wadeye and Garrthalala in North East Arnhem Land.
The construction process has commenced at the Wadeye site for a 40 bed boarding facility, with a specific site identified, lease agreed, and land development work imminent.
It was recently announced that the Garrthalala site on the Laynhapuy Homelands, near Gove, has been chosen for a 72 bed facility. The announcement was made during a meeting between stakeholders and communities in North East Arnhem land.
A third site, planned for the Warlpiri Triangle, is in the final stages of negotiation with traditional owners and the broader community, and a site is expected to be confirmed soon for a 40 bed facility.
The building of the facility in the Walpiri Triangle is dependent on strong, broad based community support. Although time consuming, the Gillard Labor Government is committed to undertaking robust community consultation before finalising the location of the site.
The three new boarding facilities in the Northern Territory are part of Federal Labor’s Education Revolution, supporting Indigenous youth from remote communities to get a secondary school education.
Warren Snowdon said the Gillard Labor Government is committed to providing Indigenous youth with a quality education.
“We want young Indigenous people to have access to a good quality education so they have plenty of options in life, like options to get a job, options to further their own lives as individuals, and options to further contribute to their communities.
“These new facilities will hopefully set them up for a future of lifelong learning,” Warren Snowdon said.
Simon Crean said he expects the project will make a real difference to the engagement of remote Indigenous youth in secondary schooling in the Northern Territory.
“We want to give all Australian children the best possible start in life and this is a step in the right direction for the Northern Territory.”
Warren Snowdon said the Gillard Labor Government will continue to consult with the local communities involved, and they will be invited to play a lead role in the governance of the facilities.
The new boarding facilities will be built near existing secondary schools, enabling young Indigenous people from each of the targeted regions to access full time secondary schooling.
The facilities will provide an environment that fosters learning and is conducive to maintaining attendance; an important step in meeting the Council of Australian Governments’ commitment to at least halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
The Australian Government has committed $28.9 million over four years, together with a $15 million capital contribution from the Indigenous Land Corporation, for the construction and operation of these facilities.
Funding for this project is already included in the Budget.
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