Australian Prime Minister Doorstop interview – Alice Springs

Prime Minister

It’s terrific to be here in Alice Springs and to be here having a look at such a, literally, concrete example of the difference that our investment is making. The $250 million Central Australia Package is looking at the full suite of services. This health hub here, run by the Aboriginal Congress, will make an enormous difference for the programs that they operate, particularly for the youngest Territorians here to be able to get the health services that this magnificent organisation provides. In order to do that, you need the right infrastructure, and this infrastructure investment here, in addition with the additional funding that we’re providing for services, such as we heard inside, $5 million for the programs that run for very young children in order to get proper assessments so that they can get the health care that they need. We’re determined to make sure that we make these right investments. That’s why we’ve contributed $250 million through the Central Australia Package. A billion dollars combined between the Commonwealth and Territory to double, literally, the funding that the National Government is putting into public schools so that every young Territorian can get the opportunity of a good education. And of course, our $4 billion combined community and remote housing program as well, that will make an enormous difference. In addition to that, we have our employment programs that we announced as part of our response to the Closing the Gap Strategy, making sure as well, when we do programs like this, that we’re employing local people, that we’re skilling up local people to get the jobs and opportunities here as well. Over the coming, today and tomorrow, I’m really looking forward to the meetings I’ll be having at the Chamber of Commerce with the Mayor and all of the local Councillors, with local community members here this afternoon. And then tomorrow morning, having a look at education as well and the difference that it is making, that investment to school retention, to getting kids to school is something that we need to do in the Territory as well.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, why did you decide to come to Alice Springs now?

PRIME MINISTER: Because it was an opportunity to come and see the progress that is being made here. Marion Scrymgour is a fantastic local member here, and Marion invited us to come along, and it’s appropriate for us to do that. Linda Burney has been a regular visitor here, of course. I’ve been nine times to the Northern Territory as Prime Minister. That’s more than any previous Prime Minister for a long period of time, if ever. And I continue to be engaged here, as I have been in Katherine, in Uluru, at Muṯitjulu, at Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala as well as at Darwin. Thanks.

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