The Northern Territory Labor Government has announced another $20 million to go towards NT border protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will pay for an extra 131 police, including 30 Aboriginal Liaison Officers, and 10 Aboriginal Community Police officers, support staff, and more resources to sustain the Territory's hard borders.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said having police patrolling roads and airports and directing those required into mandatory quarantine has made the Territory the "safest place" in the country, and it his his duty to look after the officers protecting the border.
“Right now we have more police on the beat than ever before, and that number is only going to increase through the employment of 131 additional police and support staff – making our force as strong as possible," he said.
“Nobody knows how long this crisis will continue for, but Territorians should know we will always do whatever it takes to keep you safe. Our hard borders will be there for as long they are needed, and police will have what they need.
“We will always put the Territory first.”
NT Police Minister Nicole Manison said the funding for more police will help the Territory best manage the threat of COVID-19.
“Coronavirus has no end date – and we need to ensure our police have all the resources they need to continue to keep Territorians safe," she said.
Recruitment will start immediately with a constable squad commencing in coming weeks, and the first Aboriginal Liaison Officer squad stating in October.
All Aboriginal Liaison Officers will be on the beat by April 2021 and all Aboriginal Community Police Officers by June 2021.
An additional 20 vehicles will also be purchased and deployed across the Territory to assist with operational requirements.