Lack of funding forces critical NT services to close

A local service provider in the remote Northern Territory community of Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, has told NITV it's shut down a number of its elderly, youth and mental health services because it hasn't received adequate funding.

A local service provider in the remote Northern Territory community of Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, has told NITV it's shut down a number of its elderly, youth and mental health services because it hasn't received adequate funding.

Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation (ASAC) said it’s been forced to close its Men's Shed and School Attendance programs, and is set to lose 22 Indigenous staff members.

The corporation is federally funded through the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC), but it's most recent funding application has reportedly been outstanding since August last year.

The ASAC director said the corporation has repeatedly tried to contact the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Nigel Scullion, but all attempts have gone unanswered.

“This is a shocking outcome and could have been avoided, but our plight has been ignored,” Director of ASAC, Serena Barr, said.

She added the closures have “dealt a massive blow” to the community.

“The loss of the Men's Shed will lead to increasing isolation in the community and teachers have already reported a drop in attendance rates amongst students.”