“The chance, this Sunday evening and Monday morning of the Prime Minister’s overnight stay in Tennant Creek is a rare opportunity for the community to share their story with the country’s leader.” Local Federal Member. Warren Snowdon said today.
Tennant Creek is the regional town centre of the vast Barkly Tablelands located on the Stuart Highway 1000km south of Darwin and 500km north of Alice Springs.
“It is vital the PM prioritise his meetings with the community to ensure he hears first-hand, in depth and at length from Tennant Creek community members and stakeholders – how they view the challenges faces their town and suggestions of what they consider should be a Federal response.
“Doubtless issues that will be discussed include, child safety and protection, domestic violence, housing shortages, alcohol abuse, liquor restrictions, education, employment and community development, night and youth patrols, health services and community services more generally including age care and money management.
“Sharing his time in this community will give the PM a perspective of the wider challenge of providing a co-ordinated Federal, Territory, Local Government and NGO approach for real solutions to challenges not only in Tennant Creek but elsewhere. Aboriginal people must be central to the decision making process around decisions that affect their lives.
“While in Tennant Creek the Prime Minister should tell us what resources the Federal Government is committing to addressing the recommendations of Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory noting, that Prime Minister Turnbull was instrumental in setting up the commission.
“The Northern Territory Government has committed $229million to accepting and addressing the recommendations of the Commission, we are yet to see any substantial response from the Turnbull Government to what should be a shared responsibility.
“The PM’s overnight stay will give the community the opportunity to proudly showcase local initiatives and solutions, as well as share with the PM, the rich history, culture, language and hospitality of the Warumungu people of the Barkly.
“What the Prime Minister must understand is that Tennant Creek is but one community in the Northern Territory that has the need for Commonwealth engagement and resources to address issues that are widespread across Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
“Hopefully the Prime Minister will use his time in Tennant Creek to look, listen and learn and not lecture or admonish and make unilateral decisions about what is best for Aboriginal people.” Mr Snowdon said.