Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Youth Diversion

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Key Elements

The Australian Government will invest $28.4 million over three years to build on Youth Alcohol Diversion Measures of 2007-08 and 2008-09. This will include youth-focused recreational and social infrastructure services and activities that deliver safe, healthy and positive alternatives to substance abuse and other high risk behaviours. It will seed the development of a sustainable network of youth services, in response to existing and emerging needs identified across targeted communities.

The measure contributes to the Government’s strategic priorities in closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by supporting the positive transition of young people to adulthood, by reducing substance misuse and contributing to the development of functional and resilient families.


The Review  of the Northen Territory Emergency Response recommended the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy for youth development services, addressing both capital infrastructure and recurrent funding. This is in direct response to the high costs of providing such services in remote locations and because existing recreational infrastructure is often absent or in very poor condition.

This measure has two elements: 

  1. Funding for infrastructure and equipment, to allow for the refit/refurbishment of existing youth facilities, the construction of new infrastructure or the purchase of sporting equipment.
  2. Youth activities, services, salaries and administration to promote positive behaviours and provide support to young people and their families as a counterbalance to the negative effects of substance misuse.

The measure will be implemented over three years and will provide services and infrastructure to identified priority remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

The measure will target young people aged between 10 and 20 years, who make up over 30 per cent of the population in many of these communities. These young people will benefit from this measure through increased opportunities to engage in positive activities that will promote pathways to good health and wellbeing, community capacity building and participation in school, work and social networks.

Priority will be given to projects that build the capacity of young people and their families through involving them in the provision and ongoing management of the activities. Where possible activities provided under this measure will also involve partnerships with community and regional bodies, including non-government service providers, corporate organisations, shires and the Northern Territory Government.


The measure will commence on 1 July 2009 and will be delivered through a variety of procurement methods, including purchasing some services directly from the market.

Total Government Funding

$28.4 million over 3 years.

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