Home' Tennant and District Times : 2016-0408 TDT Contents 4 TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 8 APRIL 2016
TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 8 APRIL 2016 5
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Tennant & District
BARKLY Regional Council (BRC) President
Barb Shaw has dismissed recent comments
about council not delivering aged care meals
in the Utopia region.
Rosalie Kunoth Monks has claimed that elderly people
in Arlparra and the outstations that make up the Utopia
region had not been receiving regular daily meals as
expected through the Council’s aged care program.
A number of media agencies covered her story.
Ms Kunoth Monks alleged that “the whole community
including children and the elderly go without food,
often on a daily basis”.
She added that one elderly man with end-stage Par-
kinson’s disease had received a package containing
items with no nutritional value, while two neighbouring
elderly women received nothing.
President Shaw said Ms Kunoth-Monks must be mix-
ing her agencies up as Council delivers 30 care pack-
ages to 28 aged and two disabled clients in Arlparra
and surrounding outstations.
The packages, which are delivered by the Council’s
Aged Care Coordinator in Arlparra under a variety of
programs and grants funded by the Federal Govern-
ment, include hot meals for breakfast and lunch as well
as weekly hampers. Council does not have the contract
for the school nutrition program in Arlparra.
President Shaw said Ms Kunoth-Monk’s claims that
the elderly were paying Centrelink for the food service
“Some people have a family member receiving a
carer’s allowance from Centrelink to care for an elderly
relative, but this is totally unrelated to the Council’s
food support program. Council has a responsibility for
the 30 clients and the packages are delivered regularly,”
said Ms Shaw.
“As a former council president, Ms Kunoth-Monks is
well aware of how the system works.”
President Shaw agreed that it is totally unacceptable
that people should be starving in a rich and well-
developed country like Australia.
“It is disgusting and it is wrong that Indigenous people
living in Australia experience deep poverty such as
this,” she said.
However, she added that all the agencies involved in
this region need to plan and come together to look at
resolutions on the ground.
“We could all make motherhood statements about
Aboriginal disadvantage, but until we all look at put-
ting solutions on the ground to make things happen
then motherhood statements don’t make a difference.
“It’s no use taking a big stick to one agency, in this case
Barkly Regional Council, which is the poorest of the
three tiers of government and is very much dependent
on Territory and Commonwealth governments for funds
to provide such services to the bush.
“Rather, it would be in the best interest of the com-
munity members who are recipients of these packages
to jointly challenge both Territory and Commonwealth
governments and hold them to account for their respon-
sibility to the regional areas.
“Taking that approach would be far more beneficial
to the region and these disadvantaged people out in the
bush rather than an immediate attack through the media
on local council.”
President Shaw said BRC is prepared to work with
those agencies and the community itself to challenge
both the NT and Federal governments about their level
of responsibility for services in the bush.
back at criticism
THE Leonardo Da Vinci’s Machines ex-
hibition has completely wowed visitors
The collection of 75 war, nautical, flying
and hydraulic machines, copies of Da Vinci’s
codices and reproductions of his most famous
paintings are now on show at the Civic Hall in
Created by the Artisans of Florence in collabo-
ration with the Niccolai Group, Tennant Creek
is the only stop on the Territory leg of the tour.
It’s open every day until 31 May from 8am
Tennant Creek might never have such an
inspiring exhibition again, so be sure to visit.
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