The expected release of the 2012 Closing the Gap report this week headlines what will be a litany of failures by this Labor government on Indigenous Affairs.
“To kick start it, the report will be delivered late – just like it has every year since Kevin Rudd promised to present it on the first day of Parliament every year but he failed to do in 2009 and in 2010,” Senator Scullion said.
“Julia Gillard may have taken Kevin’s job back but she has followed in his footsteps by failing last year and again this year to table Closing the Gap reports on the first day of Parliament.
“Labor has never delivered on this promise and has done this to try and give their spin doctors as much time a possible to find any resemblance of respectability in the report’s findings.
“A delayed report is one among many on a list of broken promises from this government to our First Australians,” Senator Scullion said.
“Labor said it would close the gap on education and halve the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous finishing year 12 by 2020 but attendance rates for primary school students- those who will be in year 12 in 2020- are still appallingly low with the Northern Territory government having a target attendance rate of just 32% for Aboriginal primary school students.
“If Indigenous primary school kids aren’t going to class now they won’t make it to year 12 in 2020 and we will have another generation of Aboriginal youth disconnected from education who see little hope for a better future.
“The recent report on the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) trial shows they haven’t enforced attendance measures with only seven parents breached for non-attendance issues in areas where attendance is a big ongoing issue.
“SEAM has become an absolute shambles because the government has not enforced it.
“Housing has been a monumental and abysmal failure where less than 50% of the houses have been delivered in the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure program (SIHIP) program (See ANAO audit report).
“The only way SIHIP is meeting targets is because the government is continually lowering the bar with the audit showing SIHIP is out of control and mismanaged with no transparency in expenditure.
“All this we already know – I fear the closing the gap report will only further show Labor’s shameful record in failing to help overcome Indigenous disadvantage,” Senator Scullion said.