The Australian National Audit Office report into the Government’s botched Indigenous Advancement Strategy is a shameful indictment on the Abbott and Turnbull governments.
The Indigenous Advancement Strategy has been a total disaster from the very beginning.
Not only did the Government rip more than $500 million from the Indigenous Affairs budget, the entire process has been completely shambolic, leading to widespread confusion amongst local organisations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are worse off today because of the incompetence and ignorance of this government.
The ANAO report finds:
- The implementation of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy was botched.
- Administration of funding “fell short of the standard required to effectively manage a billion dollars of Commonwealth resources”.
- There was a failure to consistently assess funding applications against the guidelines.
- There was a failure to establish performance targets for all programs.
- There is little evidence that programs which received funding delivered the desired outcomes.
- There was not proper communication or consultation with organisations.
This debacle is an example of what happens when you ignore the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is what happens when you impose solutions instead of working with communities.
Labor wants a bipartisan approach to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, but we cannot ignore or excuse these failings.
This is the Government’s last chance to reset the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy needs to be ripped up and replaced with something that respects local voices, gives more control to communities, and prioritises evidence-based outcomes.
We hope Mr Turnbull sees this fundamental failure as an opportunity to show leadership in this area. Labor is prepared to work with the Government to right these wrongs and get back to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
FRIDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 2017