Eager workers began the New Year determined to see the town camp clean ups and ‘Fix and Make Safe’ programs completed on time. Despite heavy rain over a number of days, work ran to schedule, and residents welcomed improvements to their homes and general community areas. Many camps saw a remarkable transformation and residents have been working together to maintain the cleaner and healthier areas.
Groups of local low-security inmates provided by NT Correctional Services continue to clean outside the perimeters of some camps, whilst sewer inspections, geotechnical surveys and site surveys have been completed at all camps.
Local workers from Territory Alliance and Ingkerreke at Larapinta Valley
Before – Hoppy’s camp
After – Hoppy’s Camp
Before – Morris Soak
After – Morris Soak
On 19 January, Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton, announced a funding commitment of $5.4 million over 2.5 years for a new Safe and Sober Program and refit of a Transitional Aftercare facility, managed by Drug and Alcohol Services Association (DASA) under the Alice Springs Transformation Plan.
The funding will allow alcohol rehabilitation clients to receive structured and intensive therapy, advocacy, social, medical and cultural support. It will also support the expansion of community-based interventions and an in-prison program, both of which are recognised gaps in current services.
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments also announced Anglicare Northern Territory will receive $3 million to lead the new Communities for Children initiative in Alice Springs.
Anglicare and local service providers will work with vulnerable families and children at risk in Alice Springs to provide additional support through intensive early intervention programs.
Last December, Housing Associations representing 17 of the 18 town camps decided to enter into 40 year subleases. The remaining camp, Ilpeye Ilpeye, has undertaken discussions on land tenure reform between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the Alice Springs Housing Associations over the past two years.
Minister Macklin has personally had several discussions with Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, the native title representative body for Alice Springs, and the directors of the Ilpeye Ilpeye Housing Association.
Having considered all the necessary material in accordance with the legislation, the Minister decided to issue a notice to acquire Ilpeye Ilpeye under the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 (NTNER Act). This acquisition came into effect on 9am Central Standard time, 1 February 2010.
The acquisition means the chance to own their own home is a step closer for Alice Springs traditional owners living at Ilpeye Ilpeye.
Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton and Ilpeye Ilpeye resident Brian Stirling
Through the Australian Government’s acquisition of the land, the underlying tenure of Ilpeye Ilpeye has changed from community lease to freehold held by the Commonwealth. Any underlying native title is preserved.
Ilpeye Ilpeye resident Anna Stirling with baby Christian and twin daughters Jamieka and Jilaysha
During January, Housing Reference Groups (HRG) were formed with almost every town camp. The HRGs have been formed through consultation with the Northern Territory Department of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services (DHLGRS), Territory Alliance and ASTP engagement and implementation staff.
HRGs are comprised of residents and ensure equal representation of each house or family in the camp. HRGs are advisory groups responsible for discussing housing and tenancy reforms in each town camp. They provide advice on housing, cultural and social issues arising in relation to public housing.
Visit the Department of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services website for more information.
DHLGRS staff talk with town camp residents about forming a Housing Reference Group