A Way Forward for Children and Families in the Northern Territory

Discussions were positive, constructive and practical. The importance of working together to address the recommendations of the Royal Commission was strongly supported.

The Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments agreed to:

·         Establish a joint Commonwealth/Territory Coordinated Funding Framework, which would provide an agreed approach to the planning, funding and delivery of services for families and children in the Northern Territory. (Recommendation #39.05)

·         For the Productivity Commission to undertake a joint study of children and families funding and services in the Northern Territory. The review will identify duplication and inefficiencies and set the groundwork to have a coordinated approach to funding – this would be a major step forward in providing coordinated services that support all children and families in the Territory. (Recommendation #6.01)

·         Establish a Tripartite Forum with representatives from the Northern Territory Government, Commonwealth Government and community sector. This will oversee policy and programs for children and young people in or at risk of entering the youth justice and child protection systems. (Recommendation #43.07).

·         Oversee the development of a 10 Year Generational Strategy, building on the work of the Territory’s Early Childhood Plan, and would ensure strong Aboriginal engagement in the whole process. (Recommendation #39.02)

Ministers welcomed the opportunity for a frank and positive conversation. They expressed confidence that agreements made will establish a way forward to addressing generational change for families and children in the Northern Territory.