Turnbull to visit NT town in child crisis

Matt Coughlan

The mayor of a Northern Territory community in the midst of a child protection crisis wants the prime minister's visit to spark a new plan to tackle the region's social and economic problems.

Malcolm Turnbull will visit Tennant Creek on Sunday a month after meeting with Barkly Regional Council mayor Steve Edgington, following national headlines over the rape of a two-year-old girl in February.

As Mr Turnbull meets with local service providers and community groups, Cr Edgington will continue his push for a new social and economic development plan for Tennant Creek.

The mayor wants the Turnbull government to consider extending its cities deal program to Tennant Creek to include a regional development deal with the troubled outback town.

"It is an opportunity for the prime minister to see first-hand some of the issues in Tennant Creek," Cr Edgington told AAP.

He nominated housing, child protection, alcohol abuse, education and health as some of the main social issues which need to be tackled.

Attracting business to invest in Tennant Creek and create jobs for the town of about 3000 people is another priority.

"We have to get off the cycle of unemployment and get people into employment," Cr Edgington said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, Social Services Minsiter Dan Tehan and NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner will join the prime minister on the trip.

The group will meet with NT government departments, indigenous organisations and representatives from the newly formed cultural authority group.

It's the first visit to the region by a prime minister since Malcolm Fraser in 1982.

In June, it was revealed the NT government had removed 15 children from their families around the town, after it had been found to be unsafe since the rape of a toddler in the town in February.

A Northern Territory parliamentary estimates hearing was also told at least one child is sexually exploited or abused in the Territory each week.