• The NT politician says he's sick of east coast people talking about issues in the Territory. (SBS)Source: SBS
The member for Namatjira also slammed recent commentary from Jacinta Price, labelling her actions as “disgraceful”.
Rangi Hirini

14 Mar 2018 - 3:04 PM  UPDATED 14 Mar 2018 - 3:06 PM

The Northern Territory has recently been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The alleged rape of a two-year-old created a media storm around the removal of Aboriginal children from their homes, which has then lead to reports erroneously linking STIs rates and child sexual abuse in remote communities.

Arrernte and Gurindji politician, Chansey Paech has slammed the media and social commentators during a speech in the Northern Territory Parliament.

The elected member for Namatjira said comments made by Jacinta Price in her article for The Australian, where she slammed the Northern Territory government for their lack of responses to the Tennant Creek incident, were “unsubstantiated”.

“[She's] advocating for another intervention into the Northern Territory is destructive and divisive,” he said.

“The argument that we (the government) leave Aboriginal children with Aboriginal families to make ourselves feel okay, is just a cheap political attempt to further people’s political agenda is just disgraceful.”

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In Ms Price's article, she stated people who protested against the 2007 NT Intervention were not concerned for the welfare of the children who had been affected. 

"The only concern was for the reputation of adults in a bid to sweep the truth, along with the lives of children, under the rug," she wrote.

"Claims of “racism” and “impacts of colonisation” have been the easy distraction from this disgraceful situation, which is all too prevalent in some Aboriginal communities."

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Mr Paech also slammed the media, claiming they had failed to publish the Northern Territory government's comments.

“Every child deserves to be safe; this is a principle that underpins everything the Territory Labor government stands for as we work towards making meaningful, and effective, generational change in the Northern Territory,” he said.

Mr Paech also reasserted child protection and kinship care are not mutually exclusive and that the blame game must stop.

“I'm tired of people standing up, proclaiming on the east coast, that they know what is in the best interest for an Aboriginal child. Have they even been to an Aboriginal community? Have they even understood the deep connection Aboriginal people have to their country, to their people and their culture?

“I challenge those people, come to the Northern Territory. Our communities aren’t all bad places; remote communities in the Northern Territory are full of life, are full of culture.  I do not know one place across this nation that doesn’t have their challenges,” Mr Paech said.

Last week the Northern Territory government released a five point 'action plan' to assist Tennant Creek, which includes the immediate deployment of welfare workers, improvement to violence prevention services, and funding for youth services.

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