The Labor government and the Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has shown they are big on announcements but clueless on real action to help end Aboriginal disadvantage, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion said today.
Senator Scullion made the statement in response to the Federal Government’s announcement of $221million over 10 years to provide basic services such as power, water, sewerage and garbage collection to outstations and homelands in the Northern Territory.
“That is $22million every year and, according to the government’s own figures, that is $2333 per person for the 9,000 people in the 500 homelands and outstations in the Territory,” Senator Scullion said.
“That is $42,000 per homeland each year – some of these outstations have 100 houses and no power.
“The government has been providing funding to the NT Labor Government to pay for these services since 2007 and nothing has changed in these communities.
“I am calling on the Northern Territory Labor Government to provide detailed costings of what and where it has spent the $90million over the past four years that allegedly went to homeland infrastructure and services.
“There is very little to show for this money except poor services in communities that deserve much better.
“The NT government can’t be trusted to deliver these services.
“A prime example is in Ampilatwatja near Alice Springs where the sewerage system has been broken for several years, with a horrible situation of recent reports of sewage spilling out of one house’s kitchen sink and pooling on the floor.
“Clearly the funding hasn’t been getting through to the communities that need it – so where is it going?
“The Federal Government needs to work with these communities on solutions so places like Ampilatwatja have a working sewerage system,” Senator Scullion said.
“The Federal Government also announced $619 million for 60 police officers in 18 remote communities across the Northern Territory for the next 10 years as well as four new stations and legal services.
“Again, this is nothing new and is another re-announcement of an old announcement from a Federal Government that is desperately trying to find some kind of proof that it is helping Indigenous Australians overcome disadvantage and poverty,” Senator Scullion said
Download media release:
120329 homelands funding release.pdf