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Indigenous Affairs

Indigenous Affairs

MICHAEL GUNNER
TERRITORY LABOR LEADER
 
25th July 2016
 
THE MOST EXTENSIVE RETURN TO LOCAL CONTROL IN THE TERRITORY’S HISTORY
 
Labor Leader Michael Gunner has today announced the most extensive return of local decision making to Indigenous communities ever announced in the Territory.
 
Speaking from Maningrida, Michael Gunner said a Labor Government will introduce a 10 year roadmap that will see Indigenous communities take control over:
 
·         Housing
·         Local Government
·         Education and Training
·         Health
·         Looking after children and
·         Law and Justice
 
The implementation of the roadmap will be supervised by a Local Decisions Oversight Board made up of Indigenous Leaders from around the Territory reporting directly to the Chief Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
 
“I believe that the more local a decision is made the more likely it is to be right.” Michael Gunner said.
 
“Decisions made in Canberra or Darwin will never be as in touch with local needs and local solutions, as decisions made in the local community are.
 
“Governments of all political colours have made a habit of taking local decision making away over many years.
 
“If elected, a Gunner Labor Government will turn this policy approach around.”
 
Michael Gunner said the return of decision making will be done at a pace determined by the relevant Indigenous groups and people and in a manner and arrangement supported by locals.
 
“We recognise that building, supporting and investing in strong Indigenous governance is necessary to ensure local people drive local solutions and Indigenous organisations are supported.”
 
Local decision making will include:
 
·         Support for strengthening local authorities in local government.
·         Tenancy management and building, repairs and maintenance of public housing will be managed by local groups.
·         Community Led Schools run by Local School Boards.
·         Growing and developing Indigenous non-government organisations focussed on looking after children in out of home care.
·         Increasing the use of a local court system that includes traditional leadership in its decision making.
 
In making sure that Labor understands what people want in what order of priority, Labor is committed to extensive consultation with Indigenous communities
 
We will:
 
·         Consult and work with Traditional Owners.
·         Consult and work with the organisations that represent Indigenous Territorians.
·         Ensure the voice of Indigenous women is heard loud and clear.
·         Continue to support First Circles as a development opportunity for youth leadership.
·         Continue the Community Champions program.
·         Bring back Community Cabinet meetings with an emphasis on remote Territory meetings.
 “This is the most extensive roadmap to local decision making with the aim of placing Indigenous Territorians at the centre of control over their lives.”
 
“Labor will work with Indigenous people to determine the outcomes we both wish to achieve and will then bring their skills, knowledge and priorities into place to reach those outcomes.
 
“This is a massive change of direction by government. Until now the Territory Government has directed people from the top down. I look forward to helping people achieve the goals they set themselves,” Michael Gunner said.
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192