Since the Turnbull Government cut 80 per cent of the staff from the NT Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) office in 2017, there has not been one NT site visit by the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program.
In May 2017 AEC CEO Mr Rogers said that the AEC was “very confident that we will be able to deliver a high level of service in the Territory.”
If the definition of high level service is no service then the AEC is excelling.
By gutting the office the Turnbull Government is cutting jobs in the Northern Territory and run the risk of silencing Indigenous Australians.
In the 2017 Budget the NT AEC staff were cut from 15 people to just three.
When NT Federal Labor raised concerns after the snap decision was made to cut staff, then Special Minister of State, Scott Ryan, said that:
‘Encouraging Indigenous Australians to enrol and vote is a government priority’
“There will be no reduction in services’
With no site visits to the NT Communities in 12 months, these claims by the Federal Government are clearly a lie.
A Federal Election is due to be called within the next 12 months, it is not too late for the Turnbull Government to reverse this decision and reinstate the IEPP services to the NT.