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Minister Scullion: Australian Army delivers for Fregon

6 Mar 2014

New accommodation for service providers in Fregon in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands has started to generate an income for the community which will be invested in improved infrastructure by the Community Council.

The Australian Army has completed critical infrastructure projects and delivered key services to Fregon as part of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said as part of the infrastructure projects, accommodation for service providers was built which the council now runs as a successful business, generating an income for Fregon.

"The Fregon community is also receiving better services because service providers can now spend more time in the community," Minister Scullion said.

"Prior to this accommodation being built, providers often had to travel to Marla, three hours away, to stay at the roadhouse or return to Alice Springs.

"The Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme delivered substantial infrastructure improvements to Fregon, including to the service provider's accommodation, children and family centre and four houses. Work was also undertaken to upgrade the community's water supply and refurbish the Fregon Community Church. The total cost of works delivered in Fregon was $5.8 million.

"The Army also provided a number of training courses which were directly identified by the community as being useful for developing the skills needed to tackle disadvantage and improve living conditions in Fregon. Courses included mechanics, basic construction and home maintenance."

Health services were also delivered, including 374 dental treatments, first aid training, asbestos-awareness training and the treatment of 172 animals by Army veterinarians.

The Minister for Defence, David Johnston, said this programme maximises the benefit to Indigenous communities by focusing on projects that allow the Army to make best use of its construction expertise and capability.

"The strong collaboration between the Army and Fregon has meant this programme has delivered real outcomes for this community across the board, in infrastructure, health and training," Minister Johnston said.