The Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion says comments yesterday from the head of Amnesty International calling for action and not words from the Federal Government shows Jenny Macklin has failed to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Yesterday the head of Amnesty International Salil Shetty met with Aboriginal Affairs Jenny Macklin and was unequivocal in expressing displeasure with the government’s costly and inefficient programs that deliver few results to Indigenous people,” Senator Scullion said.
“Mr Shetty was quoted as saying ‘We don’t go by words we go by actions’ – and we have seen precious little action from this government on improving the lives of our First Australians, who remain lumbered with second class services.
“This out of touch government has again wasted millions of dollars on laughable consultation to learn what Aboriginal communities wanted on housing when they previously spent $42m in consultations on house design in the Northern Territory only to ignore the advice they received.
“Aboriginal kids are still not getting a decent education with attendance rates and health standards remaining unacceptably poor for Indigenous people.
“This government’s programs don’t work and Amnesty International realise this and have seen through Labor’s blatant spin.
“Perhaps Mr Shetty was referring to the APY lands through his ‘We don’t go by words we go by actions’ comment.
“Communities in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands have been asking for income management for two years but Minister Macklin continues to put off helping these people by saying the government would look at income management schemes early next year.
“People living in the APY lands want help, income management provides that help yet the government is just going to sit on it hands for another few months before doing anything.
“Amnesty claims it is going to keep track of what the government does for Indigenous Australians. The best thing the government can do is act now or get out of the way.
“Aboriginal Australians deserve much more that what is offered by Labor,” Senator Scullion said.
Download media release:
Amnesty sees through government spin on Indigenous programs.pdf