The Labor Government’s focus on Indigenous Affairs has dwindled even further following the Prime Minister’s decision over the weekend to scrap the Indigenous health portfolio and retain Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin.
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said an unprecedented number of Aboriginal leaders had criticised Labor’s lacklustre performance in closing the gap, and in particular the performance of Minister Macklin.
“Across the country there are some very influential people and organisations saying that Minister Macklin should be replaced because she has not done her job properly, but the Prime Minister has ignored those criticisms,” Senator Scullion said.
“When you consider that the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the Northern Land Council, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and Northern Territory independent Alison Anderson have all expressed concern then clearly something is not right.
“It’s a clear wake up call to Julia Gillard that she needs to take Aboriginal issues more seriously and start delivering the onground action that was promised in Labor’s first term.
“People are tired of the business as usual approach to Indigenous Affairs. Scrapping portfolios and creating new ones is a sign this Government has no idea what it’s doing.
“I think it also demonstrates that they do not have the sustained commitment necessary to bring about positive change in the lives of our first Australians.”
Download media release:
Aboriginal leaders dismayed by decision to retain Macklin 13.9.10.pdf