Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginal National Congress Criticises Indigenous Affairs Minister,  Seeks Answers For Redirecting Funds

01st November 2018

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples criticises and seeks answers from Nigel Scullion, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, for allocating the Indigenous Advancement Strategy funds to industry groups to oppose land rights claims.  We have had long standing concerns that funds allocated by the federal parliament specifically to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are often siphoned off by administrative authorities and do not reach their target and this proves that our concerns need to be addressed.

The grants come from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, a $4.9 billion policy shake up brought in by Abbott Government to cut red tape but have been a failure as the whole process is deeply flawed and needs to come under full internal review by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The funds amounting to $500,000 that need to be used for uplifting our peoples in remote communities have been given to the NT Seafood Council $150,000, NT Amateur Fishermen’s Association $170,000 and NT Cattlemen’s Association $165,000. Mr Scullion has highlighted that these funds be used towards legal fees to argue the negative impact by the land right claims.

Dr Jackie Huggins, co-chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples said, “The current government has shown in the past and continues to show their lack of empathy and interest in the advancement of Nation’s First Peoples. This money needs to be utilised for closing the gap and improving the life of our peoples, instead is being harnessed to use against our land claims.”

“The government has again let our most vulnerable families and communities down; the reality is that the successive governments’ failures continue to drive our people further into poverty and denies the next generations a better future.” said, Mr Rod Little, co-chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

The revolving door of prime ministers and Indigenous affairs ministers over the years and cuts of more than $500 million to Indigenous affairs in the 2014 federal budget have all had a devastating impact. Now, with the money for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy being diverted to legal fees to argue land right claims, just goes to show the government turning a blind eye to the issues impacting our peoples.


November 5, 2018 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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