Ministers have detailed specific funding pledges for the town of Alice Springs. 

The central Australian town has been the subject of heavy scrutiny over its crime, alcohol laws and the alleged need for federal intervention. 

This week, the Australian Government and Northern Territory Government announced they will work together to deliver the next stage of the $250 million plan for a Better, Safer Future for Central Australia to improve community safety, tackle alcohol-related harm, and provide more opportunities for young people.

New funding announced as part of the Federal Budget includes 

  • $50 million for Community and Regional Infrastructure

  • $40.4 million over two years from 2023-24 to schools in Central Australia to improve school attendance and education outcomes

  • $23.5 million to support the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families in Alice Springs and surrounding communities, which includes $18.4 million to the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) to expand their existing Children and Youth Assessment and Treatment Services (CYATS)

  • $10 million to enhance digital connectivity, narrowing the digital divide for First Nations Australians under the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).

  • $10 million for justice reinvestment initiatives in Central Australia, which are designed to allow First Nations communities to identify the best ways to prevent and reduce contact with the criminal justice system, so that communities make decisions about the policies, programs and decisions that affect their lives. This funding will be pooled into the National Justice Reinvestment Program, which the Government committed to in the October 2022-23 Budget

  • $9.2 million to strengthen community safety by supporting increased engagement and diversion of ‘at-risk’ First Nations youth in Central Australia. Funding will be targeted towards delivering youth services to build job readiness, improve access to mental health, drug and alcohol diversion, address drivers of gender-based violence and enhance cultural and community connections

  • $3.9 million tol be provided over four years to develop a Youth Services Action Plan for Central Australia, and to support the provision of cultural camps for young people at risk to keep them engaged, connected to their culture and communities 

  • $1.2 million for up to 5 new Junior Ranger sites in Central Australia. Junior ranger activities focus on the intergenerational transmission of First Nations knowledge and customary practice. Projects are integrated with the school curriculum and can also support completion of VET qualifications

  • $7.5 million for governance to drive coordination and delivery of the Australian Government’s commitments to Central Australia. This includes the establishment of an Aboriginal Leadership Group, which will work alongside existing community leadership and governance arrangements