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Larrakia Nation Night Patrol receives $1.78million boost for key services in Darwin and Palmerston

Giovanni Torre -

The federal government is investing more than $1.78 million to expand Larrakia Nation's night patrol services in Darwin and Palmerston in the Northern Territory, it was announced on Wednesday.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney announced the three-year funding boost on her visit to the Larrakia Nation headquarters in Darwin.

The Larrakia Nation patrols provide a point of contact for Indigenous people in Darwin and Palmerston - offering culturally appropriate support and transportation services and referrals to key services including health, housing, legal and youth diversion.

The Larrakia Nation patrollers also work in dispute resolution and mediation and help divert people away from contact with the criminal justice system.

The $1.78 million will fund another vehicle and two staff to support the Night Patrol operations over the next three years.

Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Michael Rotumah said the Night Patrol is "a critical mechanism to engage and support the most vulnerable people across our community".

"The program is focused on early intervention and on connecting people with a range of service providers to improve safety and reduce conflict," he said.

"With more people visiting the Darwin and Palmerston region from community, the program plays a central role in connecting people with the right services and supports at the right time.

"The Government's $1,788,800 million investment is important in enabling us to achieve these outcomes."

Established in 1998, the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation is the peak advocacy body for Traditional Owners. The Larrakia Nation provides leadership, and support and services to First Nations people in Darwin.

These services include: Youth day and night patrols; the Healthy Engagement and Assistance in the Long Grass (HEAL) Program; the Palmerston Family and Cultural Centre; Return to Country; Larrakia Hosts; Aged and disability care; Housing, kinship and transport; and Cross referrals to ensure that a quality and individually tailored service is delivered to people living rough are respectfully provided with holistic support.

The Larrakia Nation Day Patrol operates from 5am to 4pm everyday while the Night Patrol runs from 4pm to 12am six days a week and Sundays from 5pm to 10pm.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said the Night Patrol plays "a central role" in connecting Indigenous people with support systems and services – "which is increasingly important with the number of visitors from remote communities travelling to Darwin".

"This funding will support the provision of another vehicle and two staff members patrolling Darwin and Palmerston for the next three years," she said.

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and he "have long been supporters of the Larrakia Nation's day and night patrol services".

"I am proud to be a part of a Federal Government that is proactively responding to the advice from Larrakia Nation and other agencies to invest in the patrols, managing the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community and improving community safety across Darwin and Palmerston," he said.

"We've heard the concerns of Territorians. Senator McCarthy, Marion Scrymgour and I will continue to work with NT Government and local stakeholders like Larrakia Nation to address those concerns."

The announcement came days after a Four Corners report revealed the detrimental impact of local authorities using private, non-Indigenous security companies.

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