Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner have committed to work together to improve the lives of Indigenous Territorians.
During their first meeting, in Darwin, Minister Wyatt and Chief Minister Gunner discussed a collaborative approach to planning and priority setting, in consultation with Indigenous Elders, families, communities and organisations.
“My goal is to work closely with Indigenous Australians and all levels of government and I appreciate Chief Minister Gunner’s sincere welcome to the Territory in my new role,” said Minister Wyatt.
“I want to build on our shared work on remote housing and the Partnership Agreement for Closing the Gap.
“The Northern Territory’s Local Decision Making program and the Commonwealth’s Empowered Communities and regional governance initiatives are also strong foundations for a productive future.
“A critical lesson I have learned is the power of partnerships, listening to each other and drawing on shared strengths and expertise.”
Chief Minister Gunner has welcomed the opportunity to work constructively with the new minister, on a number of ongoing issues, including CDP, housing and alcohol.
“Minister Wyatt has hit the ground running by getting to the Territory so soon after being named as Minister.
“The Minister was positive on wanting to take a new approach – that we will get much more done by working together, and I welcome the accord he is seeking with all Aboriginal Affairs Ministers.
“He is bringing that same energy to work with us as we build more houses for locals, to fix CDP so that we can create more jobs and cut crime, and to make sure local voices are heard on having equality of choice to have or not have social clubs in their communities.”
Minister Wyatt raised the importance of improving Indigenous Territorians’ education, security, suicide prevention, health, job and business opportunities.
“To effect real and sustainable improvements, governments must work collaboratively and in genuine, formal partnership with local Indigenous people because they are the essential agents of change,” said Minister Wyatt.