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Minister Scullion: $14.8m from ABA to benefit Aboriginal people in the NT
Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory will benefit from funding announced for 34 local projects supported by more than $14.8 million from the Aboriginals Benefit Account.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the projects to receive Aboriginals Benefit Account funding would provide lasting benefits for Indigenous communities across the Northern Territory.
“The projects and activities supported under this round of funding are in a wide range of remote and regional locations and will benefit Aboriginal people at the grassroots level in the Northern Territory,” Minister Scullion said.
“Importantly, many of the projects will assist communities to address the Government’s highest priorities of getting children into school, people into jobs, and making communities safer.
“While a few projects are large most of the projects funded involve smaller capital investments to reflect a principle of the Aboriginals Benefit Account to fund small local projects.
“Tiwi Resources Pty Ltd will receive $6.04 million to purchase wood chip harvesting and ship loading equipment to enable harvesting of the Tiwi Islands Forestry Plantations on Melville Island to commence.
“The funding will create ongoing employment for 30 Indigenous employees through plantation and forestry, create pathways for future employment and engage the broader Tiwi community in land management activities.
“MacDonnell Shire Council will receive $414,000 to supply and install sporting ground lighting at the Papunya Football Oval.
“This will increase the ability of local youth in the community to participate in sport and recreation activities in a safe environment and provide diversionary activities so they do not get involved in anti-social or criminal activities or engage in substance misuse.
The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Union Development Team will receive $27,970 so that a group of 23 Indigenous boys from the NT will participate in the National under 16 Indigenous Rugby Union championship.
“As well as increasing the self-respect, dignity and self-esteem of the young men and their families, it provides an incentive to the young men to attend school as the programme has a ‘No School, No Play’ policy.
“The projects are also expected to support jobs for more than 290 Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory working in a variety of full-time, part-time and casual positions.
“The skills these people pick up while working on the projects will help them to take up subsequent employment opportunities.”
The Aboriginals Benefit Account was established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.
The account is funded by payments from the Australian Government equivalent to the value of royalties paid by mining interests on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory.
Minister Scullion thanked the Aboriginals Benefit Account Advisory Committee, particularly its Chairwoman, Mrs Patricia Brahim, for the work and the advice provided in relation to the grant applications.