East Arnhem Regional Council provides the following information in relation to the ongoing delivery of the Community Night Patrol service in Yirrkala and Gunyangara.

East Arnhem Regional Council (EARC) is currently funded through the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet (PM&C) to provide a Community Night Patrol service to the communities of Yirrkala and Gunyangara. Negotiations between EARC and PM&C around the continued funding and format of this program past the 20 September are ongoing and are not impacting the delivery of the Community Night Patrol service.

Funding from the Northern Territory Government (NTG) to provide a Town Night Patrol service to the Nhulunbuy Township was ceased in 2015. The Commonwealth then provided 2 years funding to NTG to continue the service until 2017. Further short term allocations from NTG and PM&C ensured the Town Patrol continued until June 2018.

Community Night Patrol is funded specifically to support and assist community members from Yirrkala and Gunyangara and, where needed, provide transport to a safe location within their community. The program is not funded to act as a security patrol of the Nhulunbuy Township, nor support the needs of individuals from outside the Yirrkala/Gunyangara communities.

It is important to note that the Sobering Up Shelter is funded under a seperate agreement with the Northern Territory Government and is not impacted by Community Night Patrol funding negotiations.

The key guiding principals of the Community Night Patrol are:

  • to assist vulnerable people at risk of causing or becoming victims of harm by transporting them to a safe place where their immediate needs can be addressed;
  • referring vulnerable people to other services such as transport services, Women’s Safe Houses, community health centres or clinics, police, mobile child protection teams, Sobering Up Shelters and any other services in the community;
  • ensuring children are at home or in a safe location with a parent/carer at night; 
  • divert people away from the criminal justice system prior to crimes being committed; and
  • to work collaboratively with community and cultural leaders to pursue safe community objectives.

As part of the negotiations with PM&C toward continued funding for the Community Night Patrol, community and stakeholder consultation has commenced in order to better understand the needs of residents and reliance on the service. MPOWA Projects have been engaged to undertake this process with a report to be tabled by the end of September.

Residents are invited to contribute to the consultation by emailing their submission to:

Chris Hayward
MPOWA Projects

Submissions close 5pm Wednesday 5 September.

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A/Chief Executive Officer - Barry Bonthuys, 08 8986 8986
Public Relations Coordinator - Katherine Hollis, 0457 518 772

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