• West Australian Aboriginal people are being support to get back onto country during the pandemic. (Getty )
The state government is helping transport people back to remote communities, as many Aboriginal Western Australians rush to get home.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
26 Mar 2020 - 2:18 PM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2020 - 2:18 PM

The Western Australian government is providing immediate funding to help support Aboriginal people who are trying to get back to their communities and back on country during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Aboriginal Community Connectors (Patrols) services have commenced work with street present people, and other remote community residents who are temporarily in major regional centres, to assist them in returning home.

The State Government is providing an immediate $50,000 to each Connectors service so that they can make the arrangements for people. The funding is being used book travel, provide access to food and other supplies if needed, and administration costs - which include increasing staff numbers.

The state government, via a spokesperson, said it is committed to the safety of all remote community residents and is working to help anyone who wishes to return to their home community to do so. 

"Our key priority is ensuring the safety of remote communities, and if anyone is showing any signs of illness, Connectors will seek advice from health services before transporting that person to a community," a statement said. 

"You are the safest in your home community, and there will be no cost to return."

Western Australia has restrictions for travel into remote communities called the 'Remote Aboriginal Communities Directions' which restricts access in and out of remote Aboriginal communities and will empower Aboriginal people to regulate visitors.

The only people permitted to enter or remain on the land or waters are those who are returning to the community they usually reside for work, family or cultural purposes. Other allowances are for those providing essential services or supplies, responding to an emergency or if authorised by the police.

Some communities have a 14-day self-isolation rule before entering.

Services Providers helping get mob back onto country include:

  • Broome: Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation 9192 1662 or 044 754 9545
  • Carnarvon: Emu Services Limited 9259 4003 or 0418 939 671
  • Derby: Garl Garl Walbu Aboriginal Corporation 9193 1665 or 9191 1461
  • Fitzroy Crossing: Marra Worra Worra 9193 0600
  • Geraldton: Midwest Employment & Economic Development Aboriginal Corporation (MEEDAC) 0429 142 767 or 0429 124 730
  • Halls Creek: Jungarni-Jutiya Indigenous Corporation 9168 6168 or 9168 5363
  • Port Hedland: Bloodwood Tree Association Inc. 9138 3010 or 0439 941 431
  • Kalgoorlie: MEEDAC 0488 072 230
  • Kununurra: Waringarri Aboriginal Corporation 9168 1528 or 0402 830 553
  • Laverton: MEEDAC 0488 072 230
  • Meekatharra: Yulella Incorporated 0456 602 237
  • Mullewa: MEEDAC 9961 1531
  • Perth: Nyoongar Outreach Services 9228 4211 or 0403 228 960
  • Roebourne: Yaandina Family Centre Ltd 9182 1172
  • Wyndham: Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation 9161 1496 or 9161 2965 or 0487 384 855