Gerry McCarthy MLA, Acting NT Minister for Local Government
Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari
The Australian Government will work to strengthen the health, social and economic benefits of swimming pools in remote areas of the Northern Territory, in response to a review conducted by the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (RLSSA).
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the Australian Government had committed $940,000 to programs that will address the recommendations made in the review.
This will include $690,000 for infrastructure needs, including making immediate safety improvements such as improved signage and fencing, and $250,000 to the RLSSA to work with Indigenous communities to improve pool management by developing effective operational and business plans.
A Review of Swimming Pools in Remote Areas of the Northern Territory was carried out as part of the NT Remote Pools project, which also delivered skills development, training and technical operation support to remote swimming pool workers in the Northern Territory. The Australian Government provided $250,000 for this project.
The review looked at 18 swimming pools in remote areas across the Northern Territory. It identified that swimming pools can have a positive effect on the health and lives of Indigenous people and made 19 recommendations aimed at improving the way pools operate in remote communities.
"We know that pools can play an important role in improving health in remote communities, as well as providing a place for the community to come together," Ms Macklin said.
"We believe these new measures will help increase the benefits pools provide to remote communities."
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments are working together with local government shire councils to ensure a collaborative approach to the safe management and operation of these pools.
The Acting Northern Territory Minister for Local Government, Gerry McCarthy, said this approach was important.
"Providing these services to remote areas isn’t always easy, but improved collaboration between all levels of government will greatly help the delivery of the many positive benefits of these remote area swimming pools," he said.
Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said swimming pools in remote areas were an important community asset.
"We know swimming pools enhance the quality of life in remote communities and have a positive impact on health and education outcomes, so measures that improve swimming pools are welcome."
The pools that formed part of the review are at Alyangula, Areyonga, Batchelor, Borroloola, Gunbalanya, Jabiru, Kintore, Maningrida, Nauiyu Nambiyu, Nguiu, Ngukurr, Nhulunbuy, Peppimenarti, Pirlangimpi, Santa Teresa, Tennant Creek, Wadeye and Yuendumu.
The report is available at Royal Life Saving website
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