On 24 May 2009, I announced that the Australian Government was taking the first step towards compulsory acquisition of the Alice Springs town camps.
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments are determined to implement a comprehensive plan to transform the town camps and provide intensive support services to the individuals and families that live in the camps.
Based on legal advice recently provided to me, I am releasing a revised timetable.
The Australian Government Solicitor has advised the Government to extend the period during which people may provide submissions about a possible acquisition to 60 days.
While I am disappointed that this latest legal advice was not provided earlier, I have an obligation to give affected persons a reasonable notice period in relation to my considerations under the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act (2007).
I am not prepared to risk the outcome of this process by ignoring the Australian Government Solicitor's legal advice.
The revised timetable will ensure that all those who may be affected have adequate opportunity to consider the proposed acquisition and provide me with their views.
The time for receipt of written submissions has been extended to 28 July 2009.
The revised timing means that if I decide to give a notice under subsection 47(1) of the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act (2007), the notice would take effect no earlier than 4 August 2009.
Infrastructure and housing upgrades can commence earlier if Tangentyere Council agrees to get behind the Australian and Northern Territory Governments' $125 million Alice Springs Transformation Plan.
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments are determined to protect the most vulnerable in our community. We cannot stand by and let the horrific levels of violence, abuse and despair continue in the town camps.
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