A five-month project to deliver infrastructure, health services and training for local people in Titjikala began this week as the first soldiers arrived in the Northern Territory for the annual Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP).
AACAP is a collaborative partnership between the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), which provides up to $6 million per year, and the Australian Army, which contributes significant personnel and equipment resources for the works.
Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, said a contingent of about 150 soldiers from the 6th Engineer Support Regiment would deploy to the remote Titjikala community to undertake the work.
“Our soldiers will provide several health, training, arts, culture and sporting initiatives in collaboration with a number of other agencies,” Mr Robert said.
“AACAP has successfully supported 40 Indigenous communities across Australia over the past 18 years and the continued momentum provided by the Army in partnership with PM&C will yield significant results for Titjikala and Australia more generally.”
AACAP aims to improve environmental health and living conditions in remote Indigenous communities. The initiatives have been tailored specifically in collaboration with the community, the local Aboriginal Lands Council and relevant Government agencies.
“This programme provides significant benefits to remote Indigenous communities and facilitates access to services and resources that encourage sustainable outcomes. Frequently, this is about the provision of drinking water, sanitation and other essential infrastructure,” Mr Robert said.
“The Army’s ability to deliver a holistic range of activities and services in a single project is tremendously uplifting for everyone involved in AACAP.”
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said AACAP was a direct way of assisting Indigenous people living in remote communities.
“AACAP is a great opportunity for Army personnel to use their technical expertise and experience to improve living conditions and community safety, one of the Government’s priorities in Indigenous affairs,” Senator Scullion said.
“These are on-the-ground services that will directly benefit the community and the Government is proud to support them through AACAP.”
This year, Titjikala will receive significant new infrastructure including a waste water treatment system and duplex housing.
Veterinary assistance, health education and clinical treatment will also be delivered in the community, as well as some significant training courses in food preparation, multi-media and basic numeracy and literacy.
For further information on AACAP please refer to the following link: http://army.gov.au/Our-people/Army-Indigenous-community/Army-Indigenous-initiatives
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s Office) 0477 391 174
Jan Le Maitre (Minister Scullion’s Office) 0477 721 360
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999