The release of the 2012 Indigenous Expenditure Report by the Productivity Commission shows that better focused Indigenous programs and not more money is what is needed to help overcome Indigenous disadvantage, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion said.
“The 2012 Indigenous Expenditure Report shows that government spending on housing and health is five times more than on non-Indigenous Australians and education is three times so the amount of money is not an issue, the way taxpayers money is spent is the issue,” Senator Scullion said.
“Governments of all persuasions at all levels have simply been throwing money at Indigenous Australia for far too long hoping it will fix the problems of poverty and disadvantage and it has proven to have few results.
“We have to do more than just throw money at a problem and need focused programs with specific aims that use funds efficiently and buy outcomes on the ground for our First Australians.
“The Productivity Commission report is correct in stating that Aboriginals use more services because of greater need and there is a greater cost of providing these services as doing business in the bush is more expensive.
“But we don’t need more programs – hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent and book shelves are full of government produced reports and glossy brochures containing government promises of what they want to do to address Indigenous disadvantage.
“The Federal Labor Government’s lack of leadership and focus on Indigenous issues has seen many programs and services drift aimlessly and waste resources.
“At the Senate Estimates back in February I asked for a list of the Federal Government’s Indigenous programs and associated funding, which was unable to be provided.
“I am happy that belatedly some figures have finally been released, unfortunately all they appear to show is that Minister Jenny Macklin and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have little clue on how to help close the gap other than to throw ever-increasing taxpayers’ dollars on programs in the hope that they achieve outcomes on the ground,” Senator Scullion said.
Media contact: Russel Guse – 0438 685645
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Indigenous expenditure report release.pdf