Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe shares the disappointment of Aboriginal communities and peak bodies of the lack of funding for First Nations in the 2020-21 Budget, in particular the lack of funding to achieve Closing the Gap strategy.
“I’ve been in the senate for one day and this Budget has been a clear example of how this government treats the First People of this country,” said Senator Thorpe, Greens First Nations spokesperson.
“Not even two months ago the Morrison government recalibrated all of the Closing The Gap targets and they have failed again, they have no intention of Closing the Gap, thats been blatantly clear in this budget.
On July 30 this year the Morrison government told the country it had been working with Aboriginal community leaders on developing a refreshed Closing the Gap strategy, this is all talk and no action.
At the time a $46.5 million commitment was made over four years to community-controlled organisations to “build their capacity and business models”, however no additional funding to Aboriginal communities has been allocated in the 2020-21 Budget.
And the lack of new funding is a further insult when $52 million has been given to the gas industry alone.
“This Budget shows that it's business as usual, more money to desecrate our land and water, and destroy the climate. Meanwhile Aboriginal people are given the trinkets of the budget,” Senator Thorpe said.
“All I see in this Budget is government mates being looked after, rich getting richer and poor getting poorer and no guarantee for grassroots people who need it most.
“Deals with non-Aboriginal corporates and infrastructure projects with no guarantee of jobs or business opportunities for Aboriginal people are not going to fix things. This is a Budget for the millionaires, not the millions of unemployed and struggling people in this country.”