A political fight has broken out over who will pay for a costly rebuild of the Northern Territory's infamous child detention system after Treasurer Scott Morrison said it was the NT government's problem.
No money was provided in Tuesday's federal budget, despite the NT government asking for help to implement more than 200 Royal Commission recommendations at an estimated $230 million cost.
The comments were made in an interview on the morning after the budget and after nine youths tried to escape from Darwin's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in an incident in which a guard was injured.
The Royal Commission was ordered by the Federal Government after the ABC's Four Corners broadcast a story in 2016 depicting the harsh treatment of minors at Don Dale, including most notably teenager Dylan Voller in a restraining chair wearing a spit-hood.
"The Northern Territory is a sovereign government, they have responsibilities and these are their responsibilities and they are responding to those responsibilities I note," Mr Morrison told ABC radio on Wednesday.
"This was a royal commission into issues that happened in the Northern Territory, they are responsible for fixing these problems."
He pointed out that he recently provided a $259 million GST top-up payment for the Northern Territory after its national share fell over the last two years.
When the NT government announced the $230 million funding to build new juvenile detention centres in Alice Springs and Darwin and address abuses and other social problems including in Aboriginal communities, it said it could not not afford to cover all of them.
NT Treasurer Nicole Manison said after ordering the royal commission the federal government was now shirking its responsibility to deliver on it.
"If the federal government had a real commitment to the Northern Territory and improving the youth justice system - which was the intent they expressed by holding a royal commission in the first place - they would still be standing alongside with the NT working on implementing those recommendations," she told reporters.
"It is incredibly disappointing to see they have failed to deliver in that space in the budget."