MILLIGAN CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ACT FOLLOWING REPORT INTO INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE

The ACT Government must take responsibility for the worsening position in areas of key disadvantage for the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, says Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, James Milligan MLA.

“Last week’s Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Report, produced by the Productivity Commission, is a public report card on the progress in overcoming indigenous disadvantage, and highlights the ACT Government’s failure to deliver on key services over the last 8 years,” Mr Milligan said today.

“The Report is intended to inform local governments whether its policy programs and interventions are achieving improved outcomes, but show clearly that they are not.

“The revelation that the gap in many key areas of disadvantage such as education, income and prison rates has not closed, but in fact worsened, is alarming and must act as a wake-up call.

“I am writing to the Indigenous Affairs Minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith, to ask for clarification on the issues, what the government is doing about it, and where it is spending the funding.

Mr Milligan said his letter will ask:

 What projects it had implemented in the past 8 years to close the gap?

 What funding had been provided to these projects?

 What evaluation had been conducted to ensure stated outcomes were being met?

 What initiatives the government would implement to ensure that the situation would improve?

 “It is time to hold the ACT government to account and to work towards the improvement of the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians,” Mr Milligan concluded.