The rollout of the $78.4 million Barkly Regional Deal continues to forge ahead, with the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, and Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories the Hon Nola Marino MP, visiting Tennant Creek this week to meet with community members and to see progress on initiatives first-hand.
As Australia’s first-ever Regional Deal, the Barkly Regional Deal will improve the productivity and liveability of the Barkly region through the delivery of 28 initiatives that are focused on stimulating economic growth and improving liveability, including by increasing child safety and reducing overcrowding.
Minister Wyatt said the visit demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to connecting with communities to hear first-hand their perspectives on local issues and opportunities for change.
“With its commitment to co-designing solutions and embedding Indigenous voices in its delivery, the Barkly Regional Deal has provided a new way to ensure community-identified concerns are prioritised for action,” Minister Wyatt said.
Implementation of the Barkly Regional Deal is being overseen at the local level by the Barkly Governance Table, which brings together the three levels of government, Traditional Owners, young people and local business leaders, as well as non-Indigenous community organisations.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with members of the Barkly Governance Table with Assistant Minister Marino and to hear their ideas about ensuring that delivery of the Deal over the next 10 years will meet the region’s priorities.”
Assistant Minister Marino said she was excited to see the positive impact the Morrison Government’s $45.4 million commitment has already had on the region.
“It was wonderful to see how much progress has already been made in such a short time thanks to the strong commitment of the three levels of government and the Barkly community to work together on the nation’s first Regional Deal,” Assistant Minister Marino said.
“This includes the completion of the Alpurrurulam (Lake Nash) airstrip upgrade funded through the Australian Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program and delivery of an affordability trial at the Aboriginal Hostels Limited Wangkana Kari hostel in Tennant Creek to reduce the nightly tariff for local residents receiving medical treatment who would otherwise be sleeping rough.”
During the trip, Minister Wyatt and Assistant Minister Marino visited the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, and met with members of the Ankinyi Wirranjiki Night Patrol who help to improve community safety by patrolling the streets at night to offer culturally sensitive assistance and transport for those who need it.
“The Ankinyi Wirranjiki Night Patrol has been operating for about 40 years and it was fantastic to meet some of the people who are working hard each night to support their fellow community members,” Assistant Minister Marino said.
Minister Wyatt and Assistant Minister Marino also visited the Youth Links Drop-In Centre, which is one of the youth infrastructure sites to be upgraded or replaced through the Deal using funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
“Identified as a community priority during the Deal’s development, the $7.6 million investment through the BBRF will replace the Youth Links Drop-In Centre, construct a new cycling and walking path between Weaber Road and Blaine Street in Tennant Creek, and build a new sport and recreation centre in Ali Curung”.
The total value of the Barkly Regional Deal is $78.4 million, which includes $45.4 million from the Morrison Government, $30 million from the Northern Territory Government and $3 million from the Barkly Regional Council. The Deal will be delivered over a 10-year period.