Creating better outcomes for communities in the NT

This week, Minister for Families and Social Services and Women's Safety, Anne Ruston, will meet with community groups, peak bodies and local stakeholders to discuss responses to domestic and family violence as well as the rollout of the Cashless Debit Card.

The Morrison Government has recently committed almost $50 million to support Cashless Debit Card participants to enhance wraparound services including the $30 million Jobs Fund Package announced as part of the 2021-22 Budget. 

The meetings will also help inform the next National Plan to end violence against women and their children. The Plan will provide a framework to meet the Closing the Gap target that by 2031, the rate of all forms of family violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children is reduced at least by 50 per cent, as progress towards zero.

“Sadly evidence indicates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children continue to experience disproportionally high rates of violence,” Minister Ruston said.

“The Morrison Government has committed $29.4 million to establish the first ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Personal Safety Survey to be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“This will build on our understanding of the specific issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and enable us, for the first time, to measure the prevalence of family, domestic and sexual violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls.

“It is also vital that I hear directly from communities on their Land as well as the groups which represent them who will all provide valuable insights into how we can meet our Closing the Gap targets.”

Income Management participants who are on the BasicsCard in the NT are now able to volunteer to transition to the Cashless Debit Card where 50 per cent of social security payments are deposited. The remaining 50 per cent is deposited into the participant’s regular bank account.

To assist with the transition the Government allocated $17.5 million for additional support in the NT and Cape York.

“Visits and meetings in the NT will help inform the allocation of this significant funding package to assist Income Management participants who choose to transition to the CDC,” Minister Ruston said. 

“We’ll discuss how this funding can help people address barriers to employment and learn the necessary skills to find jobs. Communities know what they need and the Government is listening.”

More information about the next National Plan to end violence against women and their children and the Cashless Debit Card is available on www.dss.gov.au