Australian government budget leaves indigenous affairs in a “trauma zone”

Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land

 Indigenous rights advocacy organisations says the right-of-centre Australian government’s new budget fails to address the uncertainty, upheaval and cuts in indigenous affairs from the past 12 months. "This last year has been one of real anxiety for many  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities, and the budget missed the opportunity to put that right," says Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR). ANTaR welcomed the reinstatement of funding cut from Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services in last year’s budget, but said that these were just undoing some of the worst decisions of last year.


The statement sums up:  Unfair Budget has left Indigenous Affairs adrift”.

The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples sees the indigenous affairs environment “remaining in a trauma zone”.


“Funding cuts and ongoing uncertainty stemming from last year’s federal budget continue to wreak havoc on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations and communities.”


Congress demands that the government place greater value on community-led solutions, but “there’s little cause for optimism at this stage".


The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) says the childcare package released in the federal budget punishes those children who need support most.


SNAICC Chairperson, Sharron Williams, writes: "The Treasurer says it is a fair budget, a budget for all Australians. Well again it seems that Indigenous children are not Australians, that they just don’t matter.


“This package excludes vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by mainstreaming Indigenous services and cutting child care access for families that are struggling families.


"These children are the ones that stand to gain the most from early childhood service supports. Unless we invest in their education, intergenerational cycles of disadvantage will continue.


"If we’re serious about closing the gap in outcomes for our children, the conversation we need to have is: What are we doing for our most vulnerable families?”


The Australian Human Rights Commission also notes “lingering pain and uncertainty around last year’s budget cuts” and adds that “Government has not restored the last year’s cuts of $534.4 million over five years from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives”.


“The Close the Gap Campaign calls on the government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives to address concerns.”


"Closing the appalling life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has become harder under the Abbott Government with last night’s Federal Budget failing to reverse the cuts made to Indigenous Affairs last year, Oxfam Australia argues.


Indigenous Australians die up to 10 years earlier than non-Indigenous Australians and suffer much higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and other preventable illness.


"What we are seeing is the brakes put on the national priority to close the gap - and this from the self-titled Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs," writes Oxfam Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Rights Policy Advisor, Dr Peter Lewis.


Reconciliation Australia, which wants “everyone to wake to a reconciled, just and equitable Australia”, demands that “the savings of $534 million made during the 2014-15 Budget should be reinvested within Indigenous Affairs”.


It also wants the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples to “continue to receive Government support until they are self-sustaining. A strong, representative voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is essential to ensure ongoing progress.”


“The way to avoid this uncertainty is to meaningfully and genuinely engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities."


The Labor Opposition’s Indigenous Affairs spokesman, Shayne Neumann, noted that "This year's budget rips $95 million from the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, in spite of serious overcrowding."


"Instead of focussing on the issues that concern the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, this budget is a short-sighted plan from a government focussed on saving itself."




Indigenous funding masks another agenda
"Money in the budget for indigenous housing and job creation appears to be reasonably good news for Aboriginal Australia. However through the grants payments to states for remote housing the Federal Government is ending its responsibility for such services, something likely to lead to the states moving people off country."

'Dysfunctional Northern Territory government must not run Indigenous outstations’

Two of Australia's most powerful Indigenous land councils have labelled the NT government "dysfunctional and welfare dependent" and "a failed state that is almost totally dependent on the Commonwealth" as they rejected an idea for the NT to take responsibility for Indigenous outstation services.

Remote Indigenous communities could close if NT government takes full control
Indigenous groups are warning remote Northern Territory communities could close after the commonwealth offered a one-off payment to cede control of them. Approximately $154.8m was allotted in Tuesday’s federal budget to the NT government to "take on full responsibility for delivering municipal and essential services in remote Indigenous communities". ... "[This] has caused incredible trauma and distress and anxiety in remote communities in Western Australia. We would be very disappointed if there was a repeat of that unfortunate exercise in any other state or territory."


"Unless Aboriginal people have a place at the table they have every right to suspect that the new deal will result in outstation closures

The Northern Territory’s two big Land Councils predict a repeat of the developments in WA, where the Commonwealth has washed its hands of outstations, and an unknown number of small communities face closure.


Aborigines creating jobs in remote communities
Contrary to popular opinion, the choice to live on country can and does provide a sustainable and rewarding livelihood. In Western Australia Kimberley Aboriginal people have been capitalising on their cultural knowledge, expert land management skills and native title rights to create jobs and business opportunities in remote communities.

Fears of community closures spreading to NT after budget handout
There are fears more remote communities will be closed, this time in the Northern Territory, after the Federal Government handed $155 million to the NT Government for services to remote communities. The NT Government has not yet indicated if it will agree to the offer, but already Labor NT Senator Nova Peris has said the deal looks like that offered the West Australian Government last year.

Concerns raised over federal plans to hand funding of Indigenous outstations to NT, in deal similar to Western Australia
The Federal Government looks to be headed for a fight over its plans to make the NT Government take responsibility for servicing tiny remote Indigenous communities. The NT Government is unsure whether it will accept the deal, while the Opposition warns it could lead to a complete defunding of outstations and homelands, as is set to happen in parts of Western Australia.

Aboriginal Communities Left Out In The Cold Following Budget Announcement
The Federal budget includes a one payment to Northern Territory Government to take full responsibility for delivering municipal and essential services in remote communities. More than $145m will be cut from Indigenous services and throughout 2015-16, including $46m from Indigenous health. 


Indigenous activist accuses government of 'racist budget'
A prominent Indigenous rights campaigner has accused the Federal and Western Australian Governments of racism over community closures while they bail out drought afflicted farms. "You've got two groups of people in the country, both live in the rural environment, both prefer to stay there which means that is their personal choice. Abbott comes out and says one group, the farmers, will get Federal Government assistance of up to $300 million dollars, but the other group, Aboriginal people, will get absolutely nothing."


TV promotion of catastrophic assault on homelands
Tax-funded ABC focused on a few WA Aboriginal communities to produce more ‘poverty porn’, but it’s more than that.


“Programme demonised all Aboriginal communities in Western Australia”


Some of the obvious questions were not asked or properly investigated. Why continually show alcohol affected Aboriginal people in Broome? The issues are not solely about the Kimberley but about all Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. “Get your facts right, ABC."

“Living happily in the highest quality of health”

"Four Corners contacted me for some backgrounding, but much of what I had to say did not eventuate in the coverage.” The majority of Lombadina’s eighty residents, may earn a few hundred dollars only a week, but live in the highest quality of health. Despite their poverty, communities still do their best, are happy.

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Mal ernsthaft, was sollen diese ständigen englischsprachigen, aus dem Zusammenhang gerissenen, einseitigen, eine Blut-und-Boden-Ideologie ("always will be Aboriginal land") abfeiernden Crosspostings? Sind australische Ureinwohner die neue Obsession des Users "Nuclear Worrier"?

Meine "Obsession" ist es seit 1952, als ich in Alice Springs nah bei ihnen lebte.

Für dieses "Aboriginal land" hat man mindestens 30.000 von Ihnen ermordet.

Deswegen, und weil sie den Bergbau-Giganten im Weg stehen, sind sie heute in dem desolaten Zustand.

Meine Berichterstattung hat nichts mit "abfeiern" zu tun, sondern mit Empathie und Aktivismus.

Whoever you are: You have a tiny mental horizon.

But thanks for writing.


Es ist von Dir obszön, von weißen Eroberern gemetzelten Völkern, denen seit mindestens 50.000 Jahren ihr Land ihre Religion, ihre Kultur, ihre Medizin, ihre Nahrung, ihre Gesetze bedeuten, mit  der zentralen nationalsozialistischen „Blut und Boden“-Ideologie gleich zu setzen. Ich denke, Du bist entweder simplistisch unter-informiert – ich empfehle dagegen – oder ein böswilliger Weißer Herrenrassist. Eine andere Erklärung fällt mir nicht ein.