Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
Budget  |  Social AffairsIndigenous

‘It has not delivered’: First Nations advocates condemn pre-election budget


30 March 2022 at 12:22 pm
Maggie Coggan
This is despite Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt saying the Morrison government has embarked on one of the “most ambitious” Indigenous policy reform agendas


Maggie Coggan | 30 March 2022 at 12:22 pm


0 Comments


 Print
‘It has not delivered’: First Nations advocates condemn pre-election budget
30 March 2022 at 12:22 pm

This is despite Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt saying the Morrison government has embarked on one of the “most ambitious” Indigenous policy reform agendas

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have collectively slammed the 2022 federal budget, saying it fails to meet community needs or expectations. 

On Tuesday night, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced $636.4 million over six years to expand the Indigenous rangers program, to support First Nations People that had cared for Australian land for “thousands of years”. 

The budget also delivered $31.8 million towards establishing 35 local and regional Indigenous voice bodies, $316.5 million over five years to build the Ngurra cultural precinct,  and $37.5 million for governance of the Prescribed Bodies Corporate, which manages the interests of native title holders. 

Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt labelled the funding commitments as one of the “most ambitious Indigenous policy reform agendas”.  

“It focuses on empowering Indigenous Australians, creating jobs, building skills and unlocking the economic potential of Indigenous land,” Wyatt said.

Community demands falls on deaf ears 

But community groups said the budget failed to invest in key social security supports, housing and family violence prevention services to meet critical justice and family violence Closing the Gap targets.  

Cheryl Axleby, co-chair of the First Nations-led coalition Change the Record, said that if a budget was a reflection of a government’s priorities then it was clear that First Nations’ needs were low down the ladder.

“It is only March and already five of our people have died behind bars,” Axleby said.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dangers of the overcrowded and substandard housing that too many of our people are forced to live in, and appallingly low social security payments drive our people into poverty.” 

Funding for Aboriginal legal services made no mention in this year’s budget, and advocates said this would only have a negative impact on Indigenous communities. 

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services are suffering from a demand we cannot meet due to severe under-resourcing, understaffing and the flow-on effects from lack of pay parity across the sector,” Priscilla Atkins, chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, said. 

“Given the crisis of Black deaths in custody and rates of over-incarceration of our mob, it is more important than ever to deliver more funding and job-creation for ATSILS across Australia, yet once again the budget lets our people down.”  

Increase in women and children’s safety welcomed, but will not close the gap 

SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle did welcome the significant funding boost to increase women and children’s safety. She said that the $30 million to build and maintain links between the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children and the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children would help protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.  

“The creation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Supports and the establishment of a National Advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are particularly welcomed,” Liddle said. 

But, she noted there was a considerable shortfall in the commitment needed to meet the ambitious targets set out in the Closing the Gap agreement. 

“There is agreement between all governments and the Coalition of Peaks to reduce over-representation in out-of-home care by 45 per cent by 2031,” she said. 

“But this isn’t going to happen without a sustained effort to transform government service systems, including large scale new investments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-led solutions.”

Our 2022 budget coverage is brought to you by Fifty Acres.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Advertisement

Create a Reconciliation Action Plan/></a></div></div>    </div>

</div>
                    
                    

                    

            </div>

        </article>

                
    <div class=

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Record transfer sees land given back to traditional owners

Danielle Kutchel

Wednesday, 11th May 2022 at 4:19 pm

Candidates discuss ‘crisis’ in First Nations housing

Danielle Kutchel

Friday, 22nd April 2022 at 5:41 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook