Locals in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory are outraged at the Territory Government for failing to act on concerns for a two year old’s wellbeing after Territory Families received more than 20 notifications.
Yesterday locals in Tennant Creek, located 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs, came together for crisis talks cover the spike of crime in the region.
Last week, reports surfaced of the alleged rape of a 2-year-old who ended up in hospital as a result of the sexual abuse.
A 24-year-old-man has been charged with sexually assaulting a toddler and has been remanded in custody.
Territory Families, a government department in charge of children and family as well as Children’s Policy, has confirmed the department received 21 notifications about the household where the child lived.
Territory Families Chief Executive Ken Davies told the ABC the reports made about the household related to domestic violence and alcohol.
"In terms of the notifications we received, there were no specific concerns that came to Territory Families about particular harm to this child of a sexual nature," he said.
The Northern Territory Government has opened an investigation into the handling of this case and also order a review into all cases involving children who are subject to multiple notifications.
Many people in the small community claim they have been reaching out to the government for the last few months on a number of issues.
Members of the community claim they have been sending letter after letter on concerns the town face including youth suicide, crime, and domestic violence.
Some locals believe if the Territory Government had acted on their concerns, the abuse could have been prevented.
At yesterday’s rally, community members urged for an overhaul of Darwin based organisations and agencies dealing with local issues.
Tennant Creek is located 989 kilometres, an almost 11 hour drive, from Darwin.
Local believe if there had been an organisation or agency based in the community who could deal with social issues, this tragic situation could have been avoid.
Acting Chief Minister Nicole Manison has admitted the Northern Territory government is at fault.
"We will look at this situation and what happened in this particular case and why we failed this child, and what we must do to make sure we don't fail any more children the same way,” she said.
The Territory’s Police Commissioner said Darwin officers have deal with an estimated 150 child sex offences of children under the age of 16, per year.