A new and free community bus will be operated in the Katherine region as part of the NT Government's $260,000 Child and Family Centre Fund, which delivers a range of child and family services in seven NT communities.
The bus service will be operated by Kalano Community Association, and will run on weekdays around Katherine township and outlying areas, including Binjari, Miyalli Brumby (Kalano), Geyulkgan Ngurra and Rockhole.
Driven by local community members, the aim is to improve outcomes for vulnerable families by making it easier for them to access a range of early childhood and family services.
Kalano Community Association Incorporated has also been named as the service provider to manage the Katherine Child and Family Centre, a decision that was also driven by the local community.
The NT Government is investing $28.7 million over four years to establish Child and Family Centres across the NT, in line with recommendations from its Starting Early for a Better Future Early Childhood Plan.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said: "Giving every child the best start in life is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do - because when you invest in kids, you invest in the future.
"Child and Family Centres will support at-risk children, young people and their families. The community of Katherine will now have a free bus to take families to and from the centre, where they will be able to gain the support they need."
Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson said: "The new community bus will be a great boost to our community, ensuring our community members receive the support they need, when they need it. This is a fantastic new service which will benefit all of Katherine.
"I am thankful for the very committed and passionate advocacy support from members of our Katherine community in bringing this service to Katherine. This has been made possible because of the successful collaborative relationships between NTG, NGO's and community organisations in Katherine."
Kalano Community Association CEO Bill Headley said: "The association's councillors and management are delighted to be able to offer the greater Katherine community a service such as the Community Transport Service, as it will benefit many people across the wider community to access the many services that are so important in their day to day lives."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.