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Greens: Government Can’t Push Reset Button Remote Service Delivery

The Greens have told the government that they shouldn’t justify their new “Indigenous Advancement Strategy” and budgets cuts by using the “Evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery”.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today In his final report, the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services Brian Gleeson warned against “pushing the reset button” when it came to Remote Service Delivery, but that seems to be exactly what the Government is doing,”

Senator Rachel Siewert stated that even though the Greens were not supporters of the Remote Service Delivery model because it focused on a limited number of communities, but the Greens did acknowledge that the model did undertake the important planning work for the delivering of long term outcomes.

“It is important that we do not risk the progress that has already been made as the Government dumps the old system and moves to a new one, but that is exactly what we have seen happen in the past.” Stated Senator Rachel Siewert.

Senator Siewert continued by saying “This evaluation report and the Government’s plans for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy cannot hide the fact that they have made substantial budget cuts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.”

“When I have spoken to people on the ground, it is very clear that they haven’t been consulted about the Government’s plans. They are deeply concerned that front line services are going to be affected.”

“The Government’s budget cuts are about clawing money back, not improving services or reducing red tape. On top of half a billion dollars in funding cuts, there are a number of budget decisions that will disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including cuts to health programs, the GP co-payments and changes to income support. At the same time, the Government was unable to demonstrate during Senate Estimates how their approach would cut red tape and reduce duplication.”

Senator Siewert concluded with “The Government can do all the spin they like about their intentions, but the message from the community is that people are very concerned,” Senaor Siewert concluded.

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