Aboriginal night watch ends

The Nyoongar Patrol, which covers the Cannington and Gosnells areas, aims to resolve conflicts and link Aboriginal people to support services, helping them avoid arrest.

Nyoongar Patrol chief executive Maria McAtackney said the program’s night patrols category had ended.

The service also operates in the northern suburbs, Northbridge, City of Vincent, Midland, Fremantle and Burswood. The service is being reduced after failing to secure federal funding in the latest round of grants. It had received federal funding since 2001.

Midland and Fremantle patrols will lose one day each and co-ordination staff positions will fall from three full-time to one full and one part-time.

An Attorney-General Department (AGD) spokesman said its 2013-14 Indigenous Justice Program would not be funding any patrols.

Another department is believed to be funding patrols, but only in the Northern Territory.

The spokesman said the AGD had dropped categories to encourage innovation.

He said categories had only guided applicants, and were not aligned with specific funding.

The AGD spokesman said it was inappropriate to explain why the application failed.

He said priority was given to projects that demonstrated they would address offending, reoffending and victimisation.

He said the State and Territory spending cuts had contributed to a surge in federal applications, which more than doubled for 2013-14, and AGD had also tried to raise the program’s profile.

‘Existing grantees were advised that the process would be competitive,’ he said.

AGD staff member Carl Lincoln was involved in the review process.

Ms McAtackney said he told her patrols were low priority but had not been ruled out and performance still counted. His assessment of the patrol found no gaps or weaknesses and said it significantly reduced the need for police intervention.