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EXCLUSIVE: NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles hits back at Four Corners exposé on private policing

Joseph Guenzler -

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles responded to the recent ABC Four Corners piece 'Guarded', exposing the dangerous outcomes of Private Policing in the NT, describing it as an example of the Territory being "used as a political football".

At the recent NT Indigenous Business Network Forum 2023 at the Darwin Convention Centre the Chief Minister said it is the government's "responsibility to ensure that Aboriginal people are at the table with government and that we work together for decisions for the Territory, including decisions about economic independence and growth for Aboriginal Territorians".

"We have so many success stories to celebrate... We don't see Four Corners coming in and covering those," she said.

Ms Fyles expressed discomfort and empathy for the victims shown in the confronting footage.

"But at the same time I was frustrated that we see east coast media outlets come into the territory, record a show like that, go out, and report on it nationally … this is when I talk about the Northern Territory being used as a political football," she said.

"This is a perfect example."

The Chief Minister said "providing opportunities for Aboriginal people, organisations and businesses is the key to success for the whole of our economy and for the whole of our community".

Ms Fyles added that the NT Government is "committed to working through partnerships with Aboriginal peak organisations and member organisations like NTIBN (Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network) and the NASA rocket launches in East Arnhem Land".

"And I raise that because the agreement guides our coordinated efforts embedded of the four priority reforms through government," she said.

"In order to close the gap and lift the outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Territorians across the 17 socioeconomic outcomes, strong economic participation is critical. The socioeconomic outcomes are interconnected - Housing, health, education, language and culture.

"They all require us to support and invest if we are going to create a society where Aboriginal people experience equitable access and equal life outcomes."

The ABC indicated that neither Chief Minister Fyles nor Police Minister Kate Worden responded to detailed questions or requests for an interview concerning the Private Policing issue.

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