THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
Member for Lingiari
17 August 2010
Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, announced funding for a project to train and mentor locals in the Katherine region to become community based workers to help families to improve their health.
The funding is part of Federal Labor’s commitment to investing in better health services for all Australians.
Speaking at the Sunrise Health Service in Katherine, Warren Snowdon said a re-elected Gillard Labor Government will provide $665,000 to run a project called Local Solutions for Healthy Lifestyles Project.
Warren Snowdon said Aboriginal people, in particular, are faced with an enormous health burden, and the project will help tackle that challenge.
"On average, Aboriginal males have a life expectancy 11 years less than their fellow Australians and for females it’s nine years. We know that two thirds of this life expectancy gap is caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.
"This Local Solutions for Healthy Lifestyles Project will employ community based workers to prevent chronic diseases and will consult with communities to develop culturally appropriate key messages promoting healthy lifestyles.
"The training and mentoring for community based workers will increase the skills within the target communities, creating opportunities for interested community people to transition into trainee Aboriginal Health Workers," Warren Snowdon said.
The project workers will target communities including Barunga, Manyallaluk, Bulman, Jilkminggan, Mataranka, Wugularr, Minyerri, Ngukurr and Urapunga.
The latest Federal budget provides more than $795 million in targeted rural health programs – more than a 65 per cent increase on the last term of the previous Government.
Delivering better education facilities in Katherine
Warren Snowdon said Labor is also committed to giving every child a quality education, and has invested heavily in the Katherine area under the Labor Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER).
Mr Snowdon visited St Joseph’s College which received $2.5 million to build a resource centre, renovate an office, establish a permanent shade structure and replace computers under the BER.
Heb also inspected building progress at Katherine High, where the BER is providing $2.1m for a Rivers Sport Science Centre and general school improvement.
In addition, BER is delivering the following for Katherine schools:
- Katherine South primary School with $2.1m for a pre-school and safety pickup zone
- Katherine School of the Air with $975,000 for an interactive distance learning studio and classroom
Delivering community infrastructure in Katherine
Warren Snowdon said he’s committed to providing regional and community infrastructure for the Katherine region.
He said the Labor Government inspected a number of the investments made by the Gillard Labor Government in the region, including:
- $193,000 for a new large centrally located children’s playground incorporating a swing for disabled children, constructed in the Katherine Sportsground complex and managed by the Katherine Town Council
- $69,000 to upgrade facilities at the Katherine Sports Ground including a new barbeque, shelter, concrete flooring, outdoor furniture, a shade shelter and coloured concrete paths linking the barbeque area and the playground
- $80,000 for the replacement of 1.2 kilometres of bitumen bicycle paths with concrete paths to provide a durable surface able to cope with wet swampy conditions during the wet season and will provide a safe passage for cyclists, walkers and joggers. The path will link Katherine East with the sportsgrounds, Aquatic Centre, Central Business District, Katherine North and South.
These announcements have been funded from existing allocations already included in the Budget.