NACCHO political alert: NACCHO welcomes Coalition Indigenous policy finally released

The NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed welcomes the release of the Coalition Indigenous policy  document and if successful on Saturday hopes that the Coalition will work closely with peak bodies like NACCHO to develop policy and invest in healthy futures for generational change. We look forward to more detail
You can read the full policy in the download


Watch NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed and Kirstie Parker On Skynews discussing Coalition policy

Key Points

The Coalition believes indigenous Australians deserve a better future, with more job opportunities, empowered individuals and communities, and higher standards of living.

The Coalition aims to ensure that right around Australia, children go to school, adults go to work and the ordinary law of the land is observed – in indigenous communities no less than in the general community.

The Coalition will establish a Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, to be chaired by Mr Warren Mundine. The Council will help ensure that the Indigenous programmes achieve real, positive change to the lives of Aboriginal people.

We will transfer responsibility for Indigenous programmes to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Under a Coalition government Australia will, in effect, have a Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs and a dedicated Indigenous Affairs Minister.

All Australian children, but particularly disadvantaged Indigenous children, need access to a proper education. Much more needs to be done in this area. The Coalition will work with the States and Territories to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children.

Within 12 months of taking office, the Coalition will put forward a draft amendment for constitutional recognition and establish a bipartisan process to assess its chances of success. The key objective of a referendum will be to achieve a unifying moment for the nation, similar to that achieved by the 1967 constitutional referendum.

The Coalition will provide support for Jawun’s Empowered Communities initiative, which is a new regionalised model to be applied in eight opt-in communities. Empowered Communities will give more authority to local indigenous leaders with a view to achieving Closing the Gap targets more quickly.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will review indigenous training and employment programmes to ensure that such programmes are more effectively linked to employment outcomes. This review will be headed by Mr Andrew Forrest.

We will provide up to $45 million for GenerationOne’s demand-driven training model. This commitment, through GenerationOne’s Australian Employment Covenant, will train up to 5,000 Indigenous people for guaranteed jobs


The Coalition will work collaboratively with State and Territory Governments, as well as the community health sector through existing national frameworks, to ensure that our efforts to close the Indigenous health gap achieve the real and lasting outcomes that all Australians expect.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health continues to be an urgent priority for the Coalition. We have a long and proud record of improving Indigenous health outcomes and we remain fully committed to achieving health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.
Despite good intent and considerable investment by successive governments, there remains a significant disparity in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians as evident by key indicators such as life expectancy, age-standardised death rates and rates of chronic disease.
Continued investment in clinical health services for all Indigenous Australians will remain a priority for the Coalition. However, the Coalition is also determined to address the social determinants of health that will be key to improving Indigenous health outcomes.
The Coalition has provided in-principle support for Closing the Gap initiatives and will maintain the funding in the Budget allocated to Closing the Gap in Health. We have also committed to a range of initiatives to improve school attendance, employment opportunities and appropriate housing options in remote and Indigenous communities.

The Choice

The ANAO reports that in 2011 there were 210 Indigenous specific Australian Government programmes and sub-programmes included in its Closing the Gap activities, administered by more than 40 agencies across 17 separate portfolios, with the best estimate of expenditure totalling $4.2 billion in 2011-12.

Unfortunately, you do not have to look very closely at the Prime Minister’s recent report on Closing the Gap to conclude that Labor’s approach to Indigenous Affairs has not worked.

While a target for access to preschool programmes appears to have been met, there is no indication that Aboriginal children are availing themselves of these places. The life expectancy gap is stuck stubbornly where it was five years ago. There has been an improvement in the infant mortality rate, but the trend was established under the Howard Government as far back as 1998 and the decline in infant mortality has not accelerated under Labor. Despite all the expenditure on job programmes, unemployment remains unacceptably high. Tragically, a number of the education or NAPLAN indicators are going backwards.

Too many young Indigenous people in remote areas are not attending school and are not able to read or write at anywhere near an acceptable standard. Labor has clearly not done enough to address this.

Economic development on Aboriginal land and land tenure reform has stalled because the Labor Government has no appetite for changing the status quo. They abandoned the Indigenous Home Ownership on Indigenous Land programme because of their complete lack of progress on land tenure reform. Indigenous people in remote areas remain dependent on welfare, have no jobs, no property rights and are over run by bureaucrats; while Labor’s priority is the protection of vested interests.

They dropped the ball on the Northern Territory intervention and have replaced it with the self-serving bureaucratic Stronger Futures programme, leaving future generations condemned to a life on welfare.

The Coalition’s Policy

The failure to properly manage the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars for remote Indigenous housing under their Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure programme (SIHIP) is an absolute disgrace.

In the end, despite all the money Labor has spent, it will not have achieved its objective of reducing overcrowding in remote communities.

Labor’s failure to properly monitor and evaluate Indigenous programmes has led to chronic waste and lost opportunities, a prime example of this is the mismanagement of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure programme.

Resources meant to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians are being squandered on overlapping and inconsistent services and bloated bureaucracies that disempower local people and their communities.

The Labor Indigenous affairs landscape is littered with bureaucratic failure and incompetence. The ANAO found that the key Australian Government agency responsible for coordination arrangements for Indigenous programmes “is failing to adequately perform its lead agency role and needs to be more proactive at monitoring and reporting on expenditure.”

Labor has shown that it has not been prepared to apply the same standards and expectations for Indigenous Australians that it would apply to other Australians. Like Labor’s approach to housing, when they set targets and as usual fail to meet them they simply reduce the standard to be achieved.

The result of all this is that after more than six years and lots of money, Labor has not made sufficient inroads into Aboriginal welfare dependency, incarceration rates, overcrowding, poverty or school attendance and achievement.

The Coalition will continue the current level of funding expended on Closing the Gap activities, but will examine these costly programmes to make sure that they are directly working to meet the Closing the Gap targets.

We will take steps to ensure that the people who the programmes and services are intended to assist take advantage of those programmes and services. We would also make sure that programmes are targeted on the basis of need, not race alone, and are delivered in the most effective way possible.

Attending school is an absolute must. Opportunities for employment must be grasped. The Coalition will operate on the principle of offering a hand up rather than a hand out.

The Coalition will make sure that the same standards and the same expectations apply to Indigenous Australians as are applied to other Australians. Importantly, we would not attempt to deny local people the opportunity to solve their own problems.

The Coalition’s Policy for Indigenous Affairs will invest $94 million over the forward estimates in a better future for indigenous Australians

One comment on “NACCHO political alert: NACCHO welcomes Coalition Indigenous policy finally released


    The coalition’s aboriginal policy release a day before the election which is keeping with their approach to avoid scrutiny. Here’s my assessment.

    Their policy doesn’t have a theme which means they have no positive outcome for aboriginal people and want to hide the fact that it is an assimilation policy.

    They have an “indigenous advisory council” made up of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people known by Tony Abbott. Abbott adopts this approach to have aboriginal people that have already converted to the assimilation process go out and convert more aboriginal people to the assimilation process. Governments must negotiate with representatives of each and every aboriginal nation group.

    The portfolio of aboriginal affairs will now sit in the prime minister’s department meaning that no do-gooders in the public sector can do anything positive for aboriginal people without the prime minister being able to step in and put a stop to it.

    They support recognition of aboriginal people in the preamble to the Australian constitution, which isn’t legally binding and therefore provides no power to aboriginal people.

    They will implement Noel Pearson’s ’empowered communities’ policy approach to aboriginal communities which is based upon the ‘direct instruction’ teaching model for his people. This approach involves teachers following a script and students mimicking them and places all the power in the teacher’s hands. It attempts to replace bad habits with good habits but it creates a ‘cult’ environment that gives teachers and governments control over aboriginal people. What need healthy aboriginal people who can take care of themselves and are no longer reliant on welfare. But that’s what Abbott wants, an environment where every aboriginal community in Australia is obedient and compliant to his every command.

    Abbott will offer the empowered communities approach to eight aboriginal communities. What Abbott will do here is to pick the eight most susceptible and vulnerable aboriginal communities that they can stand over and make comply with their fascist approach. Then once they have conquered them they will sell it to the rest of white Australia as a solution from which they can impose on all other aboriginal communities.

    Abbott paying Twiggy Forrest’s Generation One project is to enslave aboriginal people to work for mining companies for minimum wage when aboriginal communities should be reaping the royalties entitled to them as the traditional owners of their lands.

    The ‘no excuses’ approach to forcing aboriginal children to attend school or have their parents lose their welfare payments is fascist in the extreme. This approach won’t work because children who was sick and ill and living in poverty will never attend school. Governments should be addressing the underlying causes of aboriginal poverty so aboriginal people are healthy and want to go to school.

    The funding of aboriginal children to go to boarding schools will create another stolen generation and is assimilation in practice. Aboriginal children going to boarding school from a young age will learn white culture and lose their aboriginal culture which can only be retained if practiced on their traditional lands.

    Abbott wants aboriginal adults to go to work. Allowing aboriginal people to return to their traditional lands to use as an economic based for their social, cultural and economic activities is the only way to have aboriginal people meaningfully engaged in employment. Any other strategy is assimilation.

    Abbott wants to ensure training leads to jobs. Australian governments have done this since the white man arrived here. Train aboriginal people for white man’s jobs but in areas where no such industry or jobs exits. Why do this? So governments can force aboriginal people off their land into cities to work for white employers. Aboriginal people must have their traditional lands back to create their own training and employment. This is just another assimilation approach.

    Abbott says they will invest in clinical health services for all aboriginal Australians, which is good, but he doesn’t commit any budget to it or say how he is going to do it. What this means is he is not going to do it. He has also committed to continuing the ‘closing the gap’ policy from Labor which has already proved it doesn’t work.

    Abbott would like to see all aboriginal people own their own homes. This means removing the traditional aboriginal value of communal living and ownership of land to the western value of individual ownership. Why? With individual ownership land can be a tradable commodity and aboriginal land can them be sold off and traditional aboriginal land rights will be gone forever. Yep, this is what it means.

    And finally, Abbott is de-funding aboriginal legal services so they can’t find for their native title rights and funding mining companies so they can extinguish aboriginal people’s native title rights

    Abbott’s aboriginal policy is based upon the assumption that aboriginal people has surrendered their traditional lands and accept the sovereignty of the British and want to be subjects of their Queen. Aboriginal people always have and always will retain their sovereignty. The only way forward is for aboriginal nation groups to enter into treaties with Australian governments to stop them interfering in their lives and provide a legal basis so they can hold white Australians accountable for their misbehavior.

    There it is in a nutshell. Abbott’s aboriginal policy is racist in word, assimilation in practice and genocide in effect.

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