THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
Federal Member for Lingiari
10 May 2012
The Gillard Government is delivering unprecedented investment to target Aboriginal disadvantage in the Territory despite the cheap lies being peddled by the Opposition’s Nigel Scullion.
Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said Mr Scullion had been caught out trying to mislead Territorians that spending on indigenous investment had been reduced.
"The facts are clear, we have invested more than any other government in improving health, education, housing and employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities in the Territory," Mr Snowdon said.
"I’m proud that our Labor Government continues to build on making improvements in these areas, announcing last night more than $700 million for Aboriginal health over the next decade."
"Mr Scullion’s claims about a cut to literacy and numeracy funding are wrong."
The facts are clear:
The Budget line item "Closing the Gap – Literacy and Numeracy Initiatives" funded projects that were time limited, with funding to complete a particular task.
For example, one project funded the development of resources to assist teachers to prepare and maintain personalised learning plans for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student up to Year 10.
"These resources have now been developed and are in use, however funding continued in the forward estimates."
"This extra money was always going to remain dedicated to tackling Aboriginal disadvantage and was transferred to the more than $700 million Stronger Futures package."
"Mr Scullion had the opportunity to do something to address the appalling rates of health, education and social disadvantage Aboriginal men, women and children face."
"He did nothing – only this Labor Government continues to invest in real grass roots programs and initiatives to help close the gap." Mr Snowdon said.
Of the $5.2 bllion dollars in funding committed by the Australian Government, $3.4 billion is dedicated to the Northern Territory as part of the Stronger Futures package.
- $713.5 million over 10 years for better primary health care, and better access to allied health services;
- $40.9 million over 10 years for food security;
- $694.9 million over 10 years to improve the safety of communities and help communities tackle alcohol abuse;
- $583.4 million over 10 years to continue to improve Aboriginal children’s access to quality education;
- $442.4 million over 10 years to strengthen the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children, youth and their families;
- $206.4 million over 10 years to support the continuation of basic municipal and essential services for up to 9,000 Aboriginal people living in outstations and homelands;
- $19.1 million to create 50 extra Aboriginal Working on Country ranger positions in remote Northern Territory communities over the next four years. In addition, up to 100 Indigenous traineeships will be offered to ensure local people can fill jobs available in their communities;
- $427.4 million over 10 years to place more local Aboriginal people in Indigenous Engagement Officer jobs, ensure local services are effective, support governance and leadership and local planning, and continue to support interpreting services;
- $283.5 million to continue our work to improve remote Indigenous housing, and remove asbestos from houses and community buildings. This will complement the substantial investment we are already providing for housing over 10 years; and
- $13.7 million to continue the family and social support services as part of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan which began in 2009 with over $150 million investment.
Minister Snowdon: Lidija Ivanovski or Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820