The so-called ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous affairs’ has ripped over half a billion dollars out of Indigenous programs. The top-line message from Prime Minister Abbott to our first peoples is, ‘We’re taking over half a billion dollars off the services you need.’
The Government will slash $15.0 million over three years by ceasing to fund for the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples is a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The Congress advocates for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rights, works towards securing an economic, social, cultural and environmental future for Australia’s first peoples and builds new relationships with government, industry and among communities. This is part of a number of cuts to Indigenous programs which add up to a net cut of $534 million.
When question in the estimates hearing this week in Canberra, The Abbott Government said that “all current funding agreements have been honoured in the new program and service providers that have had ongoing funding have been informed that they have a six- or 12-month extension.”, however no design has been made about programs such as Stronger Communities for Children, Indigenous Parenting Services, Remote Indigenous Housing,The Bringing them Home, Link-Up programs for the stolen generation,National Indigenous English Literacy and Numeracy Strategy; Sporting Chance Program; school nutrition program. These programs don’t know what the future holds for them and the cuts that they have suffered.
Cuts to programs such as the Remote Indigenous Housing which help supply services such as water, sewerage, garbage collection and road maintenance in remote and isolated indigenous communities will effect over 38,000 Indigenous Australians.
Before the election Australians were told by the Prime Minister, ‘Should we win the election, Aboriginal people will be at the heart of the new government in word and in deed.’ – This is an absolute betrayal of Indigenous Australians and you as minister have presided over it.