3. NTER Review Process
The Review Board has a mammoth task and it will be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the NTER measures in such a short time frame. Clear outcome measurements must be built into the initial NTER planning stages and the Review in order to promote a long term ‘intervention’ strategy, in partnership with Indigenous people, for the improved health, welfare and economic development of Indigenous communities.
In light of this, the AASW considers several pertinent questions need to be raised by this review:
- What evidence will the government have by the end of the NTER review period that the 17 year gap in life expectancy is lessening?
- Will there be basic health infrastructure in place in all NT Indigenous communities and other basic services such as clean water, sewerage and housing by the end of the review process?
- How will the quarantining of welfare benefits lead to a decrease in child abuse and neglect? If so, how will this be measured and in what timeframe?
- Is there evidence that welfare quarantining will lead to increased skills in handling money, less violence and alcohol abuse in both Indigenous and non- Indigenous communities? How will this be measured?
- Given the current lack of real job opportunities on remote Indigenous communities, what NTER measures will be put in place for the development of ‘real jobs’ for Indigenous people?
- What efforts are being made through the NTER to train and skill Indigenous people in relevant jobs they can perform in their communities on a sustainable basis?
- Will the initial child health checks in Phase 1 and subsequent follow up ENT intervention measures in Phase 2 lead to a reduction in various childhood diseases and ENT conditions? What baseline data is being collected and made available to the communities for local analysis?
- What is the plan for regular follow up specialist medical and allied health checks and maintenance of child health problems after the NTER? What is the role of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services?
- What is the strategy within the NTER to curb the onset of early childhood diseases and high mortality rates of infants?
- Does the NTER have a strategy for people who wish to rehabilitate themselves from alcohol and other drug abuse? How many alcohol rehabilitation clinics and counselling staff are available in the NT for Indigenous people who wish to rehabilitate themselves from alcohol and other drug addiction?
- What resources are available to address the pressure on welfare services in urban centers and communities across the border in WA, SA and QLD since the NTER was introduced in the 73 prescribed communities as defined under the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007?