Press conference in Alice Springs


AMANDA RISHWORTH: Today Labor has announced a $3 million investment to tackle violence and increase community safety in Alice Springs and the surrounding town camps. This will be money that will partner with local Aboriginal corporations to deliver community patrols, family and domestic violence services and youth intervention services. Really important preventative and early intervention services to support the community here in Alice Springs and the surrounds.

JOURNALIST: And now this is part of Labor’s $15 million commitment it made to Central Australia during the election, correct? 

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Yes this is part of our Central Australia investment. We went to the election with a clear plan to invest in Central Australia. We understand the importance of making sure this community is properly supported, so this investment is the start. It comes after discussions with the Territory Government, the Central Land Council as well as other local community organisations who’ve been really calling out for investment in these types of services for a long time. 

JOURNALIST: So what are you going to be doing today in Alice Springs? 

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Today I’ll be talking with a range of different community organisations, talking about their experience here, what support they would like to see and how this support will make things easier for them as well as of course talk about the future of income management. Labor made a clear promise at the last election to scarp the cashless debit card but we also made a commitment to talk with communities about what income management might look like going forward. Particularly voluntary income management or community based income management. But our focus really is on services and support that are really about self-determination, about what communities want for themselves and that’s what I’ll be talking about today. 

JOURNALIST: So this is $3 million of the $15 million. The other $12 million what is the status of that and when are you kind of expecting to roll that out? 

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We will continue to consult with communities and with the Territory Government about rolling out the support that’s needed. But this $3 million is being delivered close to eleven weeks after the Labor Government came to power. We understand that these communities have been asking for extra support, these Aboriginal Corporations that have been doing great work on the ground, have a long and trusted relationship with the community can expand their services not just have pilot programs but be able to deliver more services in family violence prevention and of course youth intervention. 

JOURNALIST: Domestic violence advocates here you know, say that, you know, when they're looking at the National Action Plan, they would like to either see the general size of the pie increased for everyone or see needs based funding specifically to target the northern territories Domestic and Family Violence Crisis. Which way are you leaning at the moment? 

AMANDA RISHWORTH: At the moment we're discussing with states and territories about what the whole of the National Plan looks like, the principles that put in for 10 years, and we will work with states and territories about what our action plans look like. Of course, not only do we have one action plan, but we have two action plans. And one of those action plans is a specific standalone, First Nations action plan because we do know that First Nations women and children are 34% more likely to experience domestic and family violence. So, we understand that there is a need there to tackle that and that is why we've committed to a standalone action plan. So we'll work with states and territories across the board to make sure that we are investing in what works but it is a partnership and it's important that we work together with states and territories in that partnership.

JOURNALIST: Will you commit to fully fund the separate national action plan?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: It is a partnership between states and territories. In terms of the action plan, states and territories and the Commonwealth sign up to do that together and we will work with states and territories to do that. 

JOURNALIST: So you can't commit to fully funding the plan? 
AMANDA RISHWORTH: Well, it's a partnership between states and territories. This is a shared responsibility and I know that the Territory Government is taking this very seriously and are investing, as is the Commonwealth Government. For example, in addition to our national partnerships agreement that we have with the Territory Government, we've recently put I think it's approximately $7 million into our safe places initiative, which builds accommodation for Women and Children escaping family violence in Darwin, for example. So there's a range of investments and of course, today's announcement is also an investment in prevention and early intervention in family and domestic violence services.