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Prime Minister, Work Pledge Funding for NT Programs

Voters in the Northern Territory are being targeted with promises of millions of dollars in funding to tackle crime in Alice Springs, create jobs and strengthen Indigenous health care.

The two NT constituencies of Solomon, covering Darwin and Palmerston, and Lingiari are currently held by Luke Gosling and Warren Snowdon, respectively.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised to invest $14 million in a community program to reduce crime in Alice Springs.

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This is in addition to a $300 million package for a new hydrogen hub and several carbon capture storage sites in Darwin.

“We have invested heavily in the future of regional Australia, not just in infrastructure, not just in the industries that we know are so vital to the future of the territory, but investing in people, investing in their skills, investing in their safety,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Sunday.

In Alice Springs, assaults are up nearly 6% in 12 months, burglaries are up over 46% and commercial burglaries are up over 60%.

The prime minister said the funding would improve CCTV, fund local diversion activities, support community patrols and a new health center to improve access to mental health services.

Alice Springs City Council will receive $2 million to regenerate the CBD and invest in a youth-focused area for the public library.

Labor also promised to match the coalition’s $14 million pledge to reduce crime in the city.

Regarding the commitment to enhance the territory’s potential as an energy powerhouse, Mr Morrison said the projects would generate an estimated total investment of $1.9 billion and create more than 3,800 jobs.

It also guaranteed a boost to regional apprenticeships, with a 5% wage subsidy in the first year on top of existing support provided through Australia’s apprenticeship incentive system.

The Labor Party campaign also rolled out in Alice Springs on Sunday, with health spokesperson Mark Butler and Senator Penny Wong promising a ramp for Indigenous health.

Mr Butler said new funds would be provided to train 500 indigenous health workers and kidney disease and rheumatic heart disease programmes, if Labor won next month.

Labor is pledging $15 million to improve water supplies in remote communities, which would help provide up to 30 new kidney dialysis units.

An additional $12 million would be invested to double funding for rheumatic heart disease programs, including $1.5 million for portable echo-cardio machines and training in the use of screening devices.

“The work will provide more workers and more services to continue to close the gap in indigenous health,” Butler told reporters on Sunday.

“I believe the magnitude of this gap is now well understood in our country and today’s announcement focuses particularly on two disease areas of particular concern in this community.”

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