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$ 155 m: gift or trap?

12 June 2015 Indigenous groups are warning remote Northern Territory communities could close after the commonwealth offered a one-off payment to cede control of them. Approximately $154.8m was allotted in Tuesday’s federal budget to the NT government to “take on full responsibility for delivering municipal and essential services in remote Indigenous communities”.
The head of teh government’s Indigenous advisory council, Warren Mundine, said the handback of responsibilities to the territory could provide jobs and business opportunities for local community members.
The opposition in the NT states that more than 10,000 people live on more than 500 homelands and outstations across the NT and considers “this Federal budget is a real disaster for Territorians who live on remote communities and outstations. The on off $ 155 million payment looks like an “upfront sweetener” before making the NT Government pick up the bill into the future”. Sources: Alice Springs News and The Guardian
Comment by Wake Up Time: Whether the federal government, or state and territory governments fix this problem, it is necessary to define a comprehensive policy to tackle the major problems in the communities. By not fixing direct and indirect payments from mining to the communities, and by allowing special rights to people based on race, the problems will never be fixed.

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