• A replacement site for the NT's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre will reportedly be announced soon. (AAP)
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner says he will soon provide details about where a new youth detention centre will be built.
24 Apr 2019 - 9:50 AM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2019 - 9:50 AM

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner made the promise as he deals with pressure over the latest disturbance at the troubled site.

Seven teenage male inmates climbed onto the roof of the centre on Good Friday and clashed with guards and police before eventually coming down after more than five hours.

The Territory Families department said the incident began "when young people started to be aggressive and refused to follow direction during the evening routine" on Friday night.

Such incidents - some violent - have occurred regularly over the last year, including a case last November involving inmates attacking a staff member, stealing keys and starting a large fire that burned the facility's school room.

The royal commission into youth detention recommended 18 months ago that a plan be produced within three months to close Don Dale.

But the opening of a new centre is at least two years away, after the NT government recently scrapped plans for a new centre in an industrial part of Darwin called Pinelands because of opposition by local businesses.

"We'll be providing more detail soon about where we're going with that and an alternate centre for detention to the existing centre," Mr Gunner told reporters on Tuesday.

"We're obviously very much aware of the need to have a new facility and are carefully doing work in and around that."

Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses criticised the NT government this week, saying unless it acted quickly to replace Don Dale, the federal government should intervene.

It was not fit for the detention of children, he said.

"If the NT government cannot deliver on its promise to act on the royal commission's recommendations in a timely manner, it is time that the Commonwealth government intervened as it has the constitutional right and moral duty to do so," he said.

However Mr Gunner said the government had spent a lot of money making Don Dale - which is a former adult prison - as safe as possible for now.

His government was investing heavily in addressing crime, alcohol problems and generational change, he said.

"But let's be clear, if you've ended up in Don Dale you've done something wrong and if you are dealing with difficult kids there can be problems," he said.

"We have increased and improved training for our staff at Don Dale."

The royal commission was ordered after the airing on ABC TV in 2016 of infamous footage of teenagers in the NT - including Aboriginal teen Dylan Voller in a restraint chair- being tear gassed.

The NT government has committed $70 million for two new detention centres.

AAP