Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed reports that $6 million will be invested in WA's Kimberley region to tackle high suicide rates in Aboriginal communities.
"The increased rate of suicide, including clusters of suicides, has been a concern for an extended period of time in WA's north," Senator Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health said today.
"I am encouraged by this investment, and those announced by the WA Government, and I hope it is the beginning of a better approach to this problem around the country.
"Long term funding commitments are needed to reverse this trend, it needs more than a short term funding boost. Minister Butler's announcement is a strong start.
"Delivery needs to be driven by the community if meaningful improvements are to be made. It is vital that immediate support is provided but it must also be recognised that long term community development and healing is needed.
"Working with communities is an essential step that empowers people to be involved with the planning and implementation of important programs.
"We have seen how effective this can be with programs such as the community-driven alcohol bans. The key point here is that when programs are developed in partnership with communities from the outset, they are far more likely to deliver meaningful results," Senator Siewert concluded.