Neumann, Snowden, McAllister and Peris Media Release: Senate Report: Indigenous Advancement Strategy Must Never Be Repeated
5.15pm | March 17, 2016
THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SENATOR FOR NSW
SENATOR NOVA PERIS OAM
SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
SENATE REPORT: INDIGENOUS ADVANCEMENT STRATEGY MUST NEVER BE REPEATED
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations should never be put through the Government’s disastrous and mismanaged blanket tender process again, according to the final report of the Senate Inquiry into the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shayne Neumann, said the Senate Report exposed the chaos caused by the tendering process and showed the Government’s complete disregard for critical frontline services.
“Today’s report vindicates the appalling experience of community organisations right across the country,” said Mr Neumann.
“The Minister for Indigenous Affairs has consistently maintained there have been no cuts to frontline services.
“We now have evidence of the extent of the devastating cuts which have decimated frontline services,” said Mr Neumann.
Chair of the Finance and Public Administration References Committee, Senator Jenny McAllister, said the report clearly demonstrates the failure of the process to support vital Indigenous frontline services.
“Essential frontline services have faced prolonged uncertainty about their future during this tender process, instead of being able to focus on delivering vital services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” said Senator McAllister.
“More than 18 months later, many organisations still face an uncertain future, and the process is no clearer than it was at the outset.
“The Government clearly told organisations that they were simplifying and streamlining the process and making it easier to understand – the reality is very different.
“Overwhelming evidence presented to the Committee showed a complete loss of faith and trust in a process that lacked transparency, consultation, or a sound evidence base.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Warren Snowdon, said the core problem with the Indigenous Advancement Strategy was that did not involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the design or implementation of the program.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities had little to no opportunity to be included in a process that completely overhauled funding for vital services in their communities,” said Mr Snowdon.
“The Turnbull Government has talked about working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but today’s report shows that’s all it is – just talk.”
Senator for the Northern Territory, Nova Peris, said the report showed that the process did not recognise the enhanced outcomes delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
“There was no weighting in favour of supporting Indigenous services,” said Senator Peris.
“Many Indigenous services have had their funding cut, services reduced, and lost staff.
“This has had a detrimental impact in the Northern Territory, where there was little regard paid to the importance of Aboriginal leadership and culture in delivering services.”
The final report of the Finance and Public Administration References Committee can be viewed on the inquiry’s home page.
ELIZA ATKINS (NEUMANN) 0481 249 828
CHANSEY PAECH (SNOWDON) 0431 810 758
KATE LEE (MCALLISTER) 0466 776 160
CAMERON ANGUS (PERIS) 0404 021 192