The measures put in place by the Australian Government to protect remote communities in the Northern Territory facing a COVID-19 outbreak have ended.
The determination under section 477 of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 prevented people from entering or exiting Ali Curung and surrounding homelands on Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 land and was first put in place on 20 December 2021, consistent with the timeframe implemented by the Northern Territory Government.
The movement of people in and out of these communities was restricted for a short time to allow time for testing and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 to other remote communities.
The Australian Government put the measures in place on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, informed by the experience of health care workers on the ground, representatives of the communities, and Northern Territory authorities.
The measures were also requested by the Northern Territory Government and supported by key stakeholders such as the Central Land Council, the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
I thank these organisations, as well as the people of Ali Curung and the surrounding homelands for their assistance.