• A sign in Tennant Creek outlining alcohol restrictions. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
As shocking statistics on child abuse in the Northern Territory were heard in the state's parliamentary estimates; a meeting with the Prime Minister has brought renewed hope for the Mayor of Tennant Creek.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
20 Jun 2018 - 5:23 PM  UPDATED 20 Jun 2018 - 5:50 PM

'One child is being sexually exploited or abused every week in the Northern Territory' was just one of the shocking facts revealed during parliamentary estimates hearing in Darwin on Wednesday.

The Department of Territory Families also told the hearing there were 41 substantiated cases of child sexual abuse in the past 9 months, and 18,442 notifications have been made to Territory Families in the past 9 months involving 9,000 children.

15 children have been removed from their families by child protection workers since the alleged rape of a toddler in Tennant Creek earlier this year.

"We have responded in terms of the cumulative harm and doing some deeper analysis of some of the case histories we've been looking at, and we have responded," Territory Families CEO Ken Davies told the hearing, ABC News reported.

"We have taken additional children into care since that incident as a consequence of the lessons learnt, 15 in fact [in the Barkly region].

"We've taken the lessons learnt very, very carefully, we're working very closely in terms of our relationship with the Aboriginal health service there … to get advice and support around early intervention and support for families."

The horrifying statistics come after Tennant Creek Mayor Steve Edgington met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this week, alongside Traditional Owner of Warumungu land, Ronald Plumber.

"The meeting with the Prime Minister was very positive from our perspective," Mayor Steve Edgington told NITV News.

"Certainly the Prime Minister was very concerned about the issues in Tennant Creek, and around the Barkley Region so from our perspective, it was a very positive meeting."

Prime Minister Turnbull echoed Mayor Edgington's sentiments in a tweet, calling the meeting "constructive and positive".

"We spoke about a range of issues. In general, we spoke about child protection and of course that shocking incident that happened back in February, earlier this year where an alleged sexual assault of a two-year-old, we certainly spoke about that," Mayor Edgington said.

"But we also spoke about housing, we spoke about education, and we spoke about a range of issues but we were focussed on trying to find some possible solutions to help our region move forward."

The Prime Minister will send two senior ministers to Tennant Creek in July - Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, and Social Services Minister Tan Tehan.

The Prime Minister himself did not commit to a visit.

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