The NT Police Association says it is working closely with the NT Police department on the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact on our members and their families.
This follows the weekend announcement by the Chief Minister and Police Commissioner outlining the NT's strict border controls which will come into effect on Tuesday from 4pm.
NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said officers would likely be placed on the major roads into the NT - including the Victoria Highway, Stuart Highway and the Barkly Highway from 4pm on Tuesday.
He also warned anyone attempting to sneak into the Territory using back roads that NT Police would also be using technology to monitor travellers' comings and goings.
NTPA president, Paul McCue, has been briefed by Assistant Commissioner, Michael White, who provided updates specific to that announcement.
"We appreciate this is a fluid situation and we're doing everything we can to obtain answers to the various questions which arise around industrial entitlements, for the weeks and months ahead. As a priority, we are seeking information around remote deployment to communities, as well as border posts, and specifically industrial conditions in relation to this unique and specific deployment.
"Our primary focus is the welfare and wellbeing of our members being deployed to the borders, regional and remote areas and, more generally, in the wider community. They're now on the frontline of a global health emergency and it's absolutely vital they have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), and adequate processes and procedures are in place to ensure their safety.
"Our members are being called on to undertake an unprecedented and essential role to keep the Northern Territory safe from the spread of COVID-19. We want to thank all our members and their families, for their dedication and bravery in serving our community, we are proud to support them in this role," said Mr McCue.
Mr McCue is also working with Union and Association presidents from all jurisdictions in relation to member implications for border controls and will take part in a Police Federation of Australia (PFA) teleconference this morning.
Meanwhile, Sunday's announcement of an increase of $550 per fortnight for six months for many groups receiving government assistance is critically important and will provide welcome relief for so many Territorians who are doing it tough.
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The temporary payment to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance JobSeeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit for the next six months will be crucial in the face of great uncertainty as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hits Australia.
NTCOSS CEO Deborah Di Natale said: "Today's stimulus package announcement of an extra $550 per fortnight will provide welcome relief for Territorians who have been doing it tough.
"For the approximately 16,000 Territorians living below the poverty line on $40 per day on Newstart and Youth Allowance payments (now referred to as Jobseeker payments) this will mean they can afford essential items and services such as food, rent and clothing.
"We welcome the moves by the Federal Government to streamline applications and criteria for receiving new and ongoing payments and look forward to receiving more news about how this will work practically moving forward.
"What we need is to provide a permanent safety net that provides adequate support for people in all times, not just times of crisis, and we're hopeful the Federal Government will recognise this when this six months ends.
"In NT we have the deepest poverty rates, with nearly 45 per cent of all Aboriginal households living below the poverty line.
We note that there are still groups that need attention in future rounds, including students who are not eligible for Jobseeker payments, pensioners who rent and asylum seekers, who have not been targeted in any measures so far.