In reply: While I acknowledge the arguments many have put forward that the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) has been too rapid and implemented without optimal community consultation — which some perceive to have disempowered Indigenous people — I stress the need to continue and indeed step-up momentum so that communities can regain control of their own futures as soon as possible.
The positive impact of the NTER measures in creating better health, social and economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians will only be realised with the total support and focused energy of those “on the ground”, charged with delivering vital primary care and secondary intervention in NT communities. Without the continued engagement of these hardworking individuals who are able to establish the trust required to build bridges into these communities, the initiative is not sustainable. It is into the hands of those who live and work in Aboriginal communities that the NTER Taskforce and government agencies will pass the baton of change — we hope they will run with it.
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