Turnbull pitch to help towns like Alice

PM Malcolm Turnbull is visiting Alice Springs just weeks after meeting leaders in Tennant Creek.
PM Malcolm Turnbull is visiting Alice Springs just weeks after meeting leaders in Tennant Creek.

Alice Springs leaders are hoping to win support from the Turnbull government for a "city deal" to boost jobs and investment and improve community services.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will visit Alice Springs today, just weeks after meeting with leaders in the remote town of Tennant Creek.

Both NT towns are facing problems with unemployment, child protection and crime.

During his recent visit to Tennant Creek, Mr Turnbull unveiled plans for a "regional deal" - mirroring the multi-million dollar city deals his government has been rolling out - for the Barkly Region.

The deals involve federal, territory and local governments coming together with community leaders to set priorities and objectives for a region, as well as economic and social development plans.

Mr Turnbull said at the time the government was looking at other regional deals.

The Country Liberal Party is also hopeful of winning the federal seat of Lingiari, held by veteran Labor MP Warren Snowdon, at the next election due by mid-May 2019.

Last year, Alice Springs Town Council told a parliamentary committee the town of 27,000 residents was prepared to put in $800,000 towards a "city deal".

The council said Alice Springs was an ideal place for the relocation of government agencies, such as the prime minister's department, indigenous affairs and the science agency CSIRO.

"As such, council anticipates collaboration with the Australian government and Northern Territory government, in the interests of ensuring economic growth, as well as suitable investment and reform, to ensure revitalisation of the Alice Springs CBD," the council said in its submission.

While the overall unemployment rate is five per cent, for indigenous people it is just under 20 per cent.

The council is also keen to pursue solar energy, having previously benefited from $40 million in federal grant funding.

There have been local concerns about the treatment of young people in detention, as well as overcrowding and pressures on local youth justice workers.

Work is underway on implementing the findings of a royal commission into youth justice.

Australian Associated Press

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