INVEST IN ALL COMMUNITIES
Abandon the 'hub towns' model.
Rapid improvements in education, housing, health and community services are required wherever Aboriginal people choose to live - in urban areas, remote communities and on homelands.
Major policy initiatives from the federal and NT governments are currently being guided by the assumption that the majority of Aboriginal communities are not economically "viable" and therefore not worthy of increased government investment. Resulting restrictions on investment are attempting to implement of vision of "population concentration" (pdf).
The phase out of Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) is removing the main source of employment for Aboriginal people in their communities and leading to a deterioration in levels of service.
The NT government's Working Futures policy earmarks 20 large communities as Growth Towns and freezes investment levels in all other small communities and homelands. Leaders from remote areas such as Yananymul Mununggurr from Arnhem Land have said, "people are going to be starved off their land".
The Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) will only build new houses in sixteen of these Growth Towns, despite chronic overcrowding in all communities.
Service providers in Alice Springs have reported growing levels of migration from remote areas to towns, drastically increasing pressures.
These policies ignore consistent demands coming from Aboriginal people for the right to proper services where ever they chose to live and a strong body of research (pdf) documenting the important role that life on country plays in both health and social well being.
Explore the reality further: What's the next demand?