"Town patrols are a cheap and effective way of helping Aboriginal people at risk," said Senator Rachel Siewert today. "It is about time the Federal Government put a matched funding deal on the table to ensure that these essential services have guaranteed long-term funding."
The Greens today backed calls by the Alice Springs Town Camps Committee to improve funding to the towns day and night patrols, pointing out that funding neglect only cost the community more in the longer term -- through increased costs for health, policing and other support services.
Senator Siewert has been critical of the way in which changes to CDEP programs along with uncertain funding arrangements have undermined the continuing viability of the patrols and left dedicated and hard-working employees uncertain of their future.
"This kind of start-stop funding should now be a thing of the past for important community services. Why is it that our Indigenous people are not benefiting from the kind of improvements we've seen in other sectors?"
"It is high time that Federal and Territory Governments made a long-term commitment to ensuring that day and night patrols and other important services in Aboriginal communities were placed on a secure footing," concluded Senator Siewert.