Top End NGO eyes Mt Bundy for youth diversion hub

MT Bundy Station could be the answer to the NT’s depressing cycle of youth crime, says one NGO looking to purchase the property.

Mt Bundy Station, which has been for sale since 2012, is being targeted by a Top End NGO for a new youth justice rehabilitation program

Mt Bundy Station, which has been for sale since 2012, is being targeted by a Top End NGO for a new youth justice rehabilitation program

 

MT Bundy Station could be the answer to the NT’s depressing cycle of youth crime, says one NGO looking to purchase the property.

The ambitious plan from Top End youth trauma and support organisation ‘Got Ur Back Foundation’ (GUBF) would see the station, which has been on the market since 2012, become the home for youth diversion in the NT, getting troubled kids off the streets and setting them to work.

GUBF founder Christopher Turner said the proposal was both a tough-on-crime and compassionate approach, and would create a sustainable funding model for youth diversion.

““We are currently jailing children at an ever-increasing rate and turning them into adult criminals,” he said,

“As part of this program they will be removed from the community, which is what people say they want.

“Currently, the government is warehousing kids — housing and feeding them — with no evidence-based programs that will minimise reoffending,”

To fund the purchase of Mt Bundy Station, the foundation would lease patches of station land to private eco-tourism and agricultural ventures at a fraction of the market rate, which would in turn create jobs for kids in the program.

On Mt Bundy Station, juvenile offenders would be put to work to pay back money to victims of crime.

“This is tough on crime: we’re going to work them from sun up to sun down ” Mr Turner said.

”If they’re of an age where we can legally pay them for work, we will do that.

“The bulk of the money would go into a fund for a car they stole, or a window they smashed.”

Mr Turner believes that if the organisation can purchase the station, the government would sentence kids to youth diversion via their program.

He said the purchase of Mt Bundy using the leasing model, in addition to donations from the community, was a realistic proposition.

“We have already been approached by vegetable growers and started collecting donations,” Mr Turner said.

Got Ur Back Foundation Inc is a registered Charity and have DGR status – Donations are tax deductable

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