NACCHO #VoteACCHO Aboriginal Health #AusVotesHealth : @SenatorDodson  launches @AustralianLabor  #FirstNationsPeople #Election2019 Plan Download HERE : Plus $11.8 million investment 2 new Institute for Urban Indigenous Health @IUIH_ hubs

Our Shadow Cabinet, guided by our First Nations’ Caucus Committee, has identified targeted and focused initiatives, launched today, that will bring the vision of justice and fairness to the lives of First nations’ peoples.

In education, we have many new and powerful initiatives that work directly to build bridges for the futures of our young people.

Our unprecedented investments in Indigenous health will be community designed and delivered, more than ever before.

Our new policies and programs in the environment will help visitors to understand the complex national cultural web from which our landscapes arise from.

It will be a challenge for us, to do all we have set out in our new policies and programs.

But we will work to achieve that.

We want to be the party of choice for First Nations Peoples “

Senator Patrick Dodson speaking at the Australian Labor Party national launch in Brisbane Sunday full speech Part 1 below 

Download 13 Pages PDF  ALP Election 2019 Fair_Go_for_First_Nations

” South East Queensland is home to Australia’s second-largest Indigenous population. Over 65,000 Indigenous Australians live in urban South East Queensland – more than the Indigenous population of Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Since 2009, IUIH has led the planning and delivery of primary health care to Indigenous people in this area. It currently has a network of 20 multidisciplinary primary health clinics, providing Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services to 30,000 people.

However, population growth means that 70,000 Indigenous people won’t have access to IUIH’s services within three years.

There is also an imperative to expand IUIH’s services in line with the best models of care for First Nations people around the world, such as in Alaska.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will invest $11.8 million to establish two new IUIH hubs at Kallangur and Coomera.”

See Australian Labor Party Press Release Part 2 below

“NACCHO has developed a set of policy #Election2019 recommendations that if adopted, fully funded and implemented by the incoming Federal Government, will provide a pathway forward for improvements in our health outcomes.

We are calling on all political parties to include these recommendations in their election platforms and make a real commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and help us Close the Gap.

With your action and support of our #VoteACCHO campaign we can make the incoming Federal Government accountable.

See NACCHO Election 2019 Website

Part 1

My friends.

I thank the Turrbal and Yagera dancers for their inspiring Welcome to their Country here in Brisbane.

On behalf of the Shorten Labor team, I pay my respects to both the Yagera people and the Turrbal people and their Elders, past, present and emerging.

I am a Yawuru man from the far reaches of the Kimberley.

I come to you today after visiting people in the remote towns of the East Kimberley, on the campaign trail.

At Fitzroy Crossing, I sat down with the First Nation service managers in the complex areas of health, of women’s shelters, of repatriation of human remains, of community safety, young people’s futures and the trials of humanising the CDP program.

One of the senior women was in a very sombre mood.

There had been another youth suicide the night before.

She looked out into the distance and quietly said through her tears, “Sometimes I wake up and I go to work simply hoping that one small child sees this old lady going to work and thinks, maybe that they can get a job and become a future role model as well.

“The future of our kids keeps us going. Sometimes it gets too hard and you want to chuck it all in.

“The only things that keeps me going is the children and hope.”

The funding is always difficult, the rules are always hard and prolific, and the officials controlling the programs don’t listen to them.

They are desperate for change, for a change of government.

The Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison regimes have worn them out.

Constantly being treated as of no value and incapable of managing one’s own affairs is so disrespectful.

Today I am standing with you conscious of the aspirations and dreams entrusted to us.

Our pledge is to walk with First Nations peoples’ and allow them to lead us forward, together.

A Shorten Labor government has plans and commitments to bring back a fair go for all Australians and a fair go for First Nations people.

Justice can be delivered, and must be pursued.

We know that Government decision-making processes have led to pain, to poverty and to powerlessness.

First Nations people deserve better than this:

  • Like the massive cuts of First nations’ programs under Tony Abbott
  • Like dismissing the simple aspiration of a Voice as a third chamber
  • Like the cruel penalties of the CDP program causing starvation and hunger to families

Labor will reset this relationship. Our new programs will be set with First Nations leadership, across the country.

We will work with First Nations on the principles of co-design and free, prior and informed consent.

A Shorten Labor Government is ready, willing and able:

  • to step up and work in partnership with First Nations leadership;
  • to deliver long overdue justice and equality for First Nations peoples and all Australians;
  • to create a Voice to the National Parliament;
  • to deliver Constitutional change in our first term; and
  • begin the journey of truth telling and treaty making.

We will be building together a framework of Regional Assemblies, where First Nations peoples are empowered to make decisions, to identify their priorities, to sponsor place-based solutions, and deliver lasting change recognizing the cultural and well-being drivers within First Nations communities.

Labor, under a Shorten Government, will apply the principles of Honour, Equality, Respect, and Recognition as we develop our new relationship and approaches to reconciliation through:

  • a national Makarrata commission;
  • local Truth-telling programs;
  • a National Resting Place for the unknown warriors; and
  • justice and compensation for survivors of the Stolen Generation.

Our Shadow Cabinet, guided by our First Nations’ Caucus Committee, has identified targeted and focused initiatives, launched today, that will bring the vision of justice and fairness to the lives of First nations’ peoples.

In education, we have many new and powerful initiatives that work directly to build bridges for the futures of our young people.

Our unprecedented investments in Indigenous health will be community designed and delivered, more than ever before.

Our new policies and programs in the environment will help visitors to understand the complex national cultural web from which our landscapes arise from.

It will be a challenge for us, to do all we have set out in our new policies and programs.

But we will work to achieve that.

We want to be the party of choice for First Nations Peoples.

And we can become that party.

We want to deliver for Australians across the country who yearn for a decent, responsible and committed Government.

Under Prime Minister Bill Shorten and our team, we will be that.

Kaliya.

Part 2 :A Shorten Labor Government will improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South East Queensland with an $11.8 million investment in two new Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) hubs.

South East Queensland is home to Australia’s second-largest Indigenous population. Over 65,000 Indigenous Australians live in urban South East Queensland – more than the Indigenous population of Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Since 2009, IUIH has led the planning and delivery of primary health care to Indigenous people in this area. It currently has a network of 20 multidisciplinary primary health clinics, providing Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services to 30,000 people.

However, population growth means that 70,000 Indigenous people won’t have access to IUIH’s services within three years. There is also an imperative to expand IUIH’s services in line with the best models of care for First Nations people around the world, such as in Alaska.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will invest $11.8 million to establish two new IUIH hubs at Kallangur and Coomera.

Building on IUIH’s existing System of Care, the hubs will provide a range of colocated health services, including GP care, allied health including optometry and audiology, pharmacy and dental care.

The hubs will also focus on the social determinants of health – the ‘causes of the causes’ of illness. As well as health services, they will provide early years education, employment and social services – giving all kids the best start in life and supporting people across the life course.

Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate healthcare models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for better hospitals and health care for Indigenous Australians, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

This investment is part of Labor’s plan to invest $1 billion in vital upgrades to Australia’s hospitals and health infrastructure.

It also builds on Labor’s $115 million commitment to improve the health of First Nations peoples – including a $16.5 million investment to roll out IUIH’s ‘Deadly Choices’ program nationally.

Labor can afford to spend more on health care because we’ve made the tough decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share and close unfair tax loopholes.

Only Labor can be trusted to fix Australia’s hospitals and health infrastructure and deliver new IUIH hubs at Kallangur and Coomera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NACCHO #VoteACCHO Aboriginal Health #Election2019 @billshortenmp and @SenatorDodson set to unveil a $115 million #Labor plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis today in Darwin : Including $ for @DeadlyChoices #SuicidePrevention  #MentalHealth #RHD #SexualHealth #EyeHealth

“Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate health care models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap, noting that improving Indigenous health was “critical to our journey towards reconciliation. Labor would be funding programs “co-designed with and led by First Nations peoples – driven by the Aboriginal health workforce “

The Opposition Leader, who is also Labor’s spokesman for Indigenous affairs, will unveil the commitment while on the campaign trail with his assistant spokesman Senator Pat Dodson in the Northern Territory today;

Summary of the Labor Party $115 million commitments against NACCHO #VoteACCHO Recommendations

See all 10 NACCHO #VoteACCHO Recommendations Here

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 4

$29.6 million to improve mental health and prevent youth suicide : to administer the mental health funds through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

See our NACCHO Chair Press Release yesterday

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 6

Sexual health promotion would get a $20 million boost

$13 million would be invested to tackle preventable eye diseases and blindness.

$3 million in seed funding provided to Aboriginal Medical Services to develop health and justice programs addressing the link between incarceration and poor health

Deadly Choices campaign would get $16.5 million for advertising to raise awareness of health and lifestyle choices

Refer NACCHO Recommendation 3

$33 million to address rheumatic heart disease

Media report from

‘Critical to reconciliation’: Labor’s plan to close the gap on Indigenous health

Bill Shorten is set to unveil a $115 million plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis, as he seeks to position Labor as the only party capable of closing the ten-year gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and their non-Indigenous peers.

The package includes $29.6 million to improve mental health and prevent youth suicide, which has rocked communities in remote areas including the Kimberley where a spate of deaths has been linked to intergenerational trauma, violence and poverty.

The Opposition Leader, who is also Labor’s spokesman for Indigenous affairs, will unveil the commitment while on the campaign trail with his assistant spokesman Senator Pat Dodson in the Northern Territory on Thursday.

“Labor believes innovative and culturally appropriate health care models are central to improving the health outcomes of First Australians and closing the gap,” Mr Shorten said, noting that improving Indigenous health was “critical to our journey towards reconciliation”.

Labor’s package is $10 million more than the $19.6 million Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced for Indigenous suicide prevention on Saturday, after the suicide of an 18-year-old girl from the Kimberley last week.

Indigenous health advocates have previously raised concerns that the Coalition’s wider mental health package could be consumed by “mainstream” services like Headspace.

Mr Shorten highlighted Labor would be funding programs “co-designed with and led by First Nations peoples – driven by the Aboriginal health workforce”.

The Labor plan is to administer the mental health funds through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, which employ teams of paediatricians, child psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners in vulnerable communities.

Official statistics show a ten-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, with the rate of preventable hospital admissions and deaths three times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Labor’s Indigenous health plan, which would be delivered over four years, also includes $33 million to address rheumatic heart disease, a preventable cause of heart failure, death and disability which is common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Sexual health promotion would get a $20 million boost, while $13 million would be invested to tackle preventable eye diseases and blindness.

The Deadly Choices campaign would get $16.5 million for advertising to raise awareness of health and lifestyle choices and $3 million in seed funding provided to Aboriginal Medical Services to develop health and justice programs addressing the link between incarceration and poor health.

Mr Shorten said Labor would reinstate the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, abolished by the Abbott Government in 2014.

Crisis support can be found at Lifeline: (13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au), the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467 and suicidecallbackservice.org.au) and beyondblue (1300 224 636 and beyondblue.org.au) Or 1 of 302 ACCHO Clinics 

NACCHO #IndigenousVotes : Labor policy committed to addressing the injustice of poor health outcomes

Page 7 V2

Labor is committed to the efforts to Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and believes that central to this is the need to implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the period of the Gillard Government.

No group of Australians will be hit harder by the Government’s cuts to Medicare than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

No group of Australians will be hit harder by the Government’s attempts to drive down bulk billing and push up health costs.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations would find it impossible to absorb the costs of these actions and their patient services would be compromised.”

Labor committed to addressing the injustice of poor health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Presented by Catherine King, Warren Snowdon and Shayne Neumann

Download 24 Page PDF Aboriginal Health Newspaper HERE

A Shorten Labor Government would continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, through the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and relevant health organisations such as NACCHO to implement the Health Plan.

In Government Labor would, in consultation with Congress, re establish the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, with its costs being met through the Administered funds of the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Consistent with the Health Plan, Labor is committed to  improving preventative health strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and helping to close the gap in chronic disease  and life expectancy  and this will be a major commitment of a Shorten Labor government.

Labor understands that a primary vehicle for improving health outcomes are community based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisations who provide a very high standard of comprehensive primary health services in a culturally safe and respectful environment.

A Shorten Labor Goverment would continue to work closely with these services as they continue to grow in a sustainable way.

The shameful facts remain, despite the improvements in service delivery over recent years, that the burden of ill health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is two-and-a-half times higher than that of other Australians.

In large part this is due to the higher incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and kidney disease; much of this is preventable.

This is simply unacceptable to Labor, is a national disgrace and must be addressed..

In response to this crisis and after having consulted widely, a Shorten Labor Government will invest in tailored, culturally-appropriate health programs aimed at preventing chronic disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Child and Maternal Health

As a first step Labor acknowledges the importance of the first thousand days of a child’s life from conception. A Shorten Labor Government will continue to prioritise programmes, such as the Nurse Family Partnership,  Abicadarian and other successful maternal and child health programme as a primary tool for the prevention of the onset of chronic disease later in life.

Labor sees a strong relationship between these programmes and our commitment to Children and Family Centres in improving the life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Deadly Choices

Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to make their own healthy lifestyle choices is a most important step to improving health outcomes and another key prevention tool

Deadly Choices is a successful initiative of the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) that aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to improve their own and their families’ health by improving their diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking.

A Shorten Labor government will provide $5.5 million per year to partner with the IUIH in rolling out Deadly Choices across the country.

(Again depending on space this next bit could be foregone)Elements of the roll-out will include:

  • National campaigns to promote positive health and lifestyle choices.
  • Partnerships with sporting organisations and sporting ambassadors.
  • Training and licensing for state and territory affiliates.
  • Local Deadly Choices coordinators.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kidney health taskforce

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more than twice as likely as other Australians to have indicators of chronic kidney disease.

The incidence of end-stage kidney disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is especially high in remote and very remote areas.

The patient pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kidney patients is often confusing, fragmented, isolating and burdensome.

A Shorten Labor government will convene a national taskforce on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kidney disease as a priority to look for holistic solutions to the current crisis.

( Not sure that this sentence is necessary)In particular, it will address coordination of the complex and fragmented health and social supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families affected by kidney failure.

The taskforce will bring together experts in Indigenous health, kidney disease, general practice, food security, health systems, consumer representation and the non-government sector to develop strategies in prevention, early identification, management, treatment and transplantation.

A Shorten Labor government will commit $295,000 to the national kidney health taskforce.

Improving Indigenous eye health

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are six times more likely to suffer from blindness and 94 per cent of this vision loss is either preventable or treatable.

Remedying this would alone account for an 11 per cent improvement in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

Australia is the only developed nation where the infectious and wholly preventable eye disease trachoma still exists and it only exists among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Around 35 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have never had an eye exam. Trachoma can be eliminated from Australia by 2020 if we give this problem the attention it is due.

A Shorten Labor government will invest $9.5m to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vision loss.

This will go toward increasing visiting optometry services, supporting specialist ophthalmology services, and investing in trachoma prevention activities recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Protecting Medicare

Labor will also improve health outcomes of Indigenous Australians by protecting Medicare.

No group of Australians will be hit harder by the Government’s cuts to Medicare than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

No group of Australians will be hit harder by the Government’s attempts to dive down bulk billing and push up health costs.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations would find it impossible to absorb the costs of these actions and their patient services would be compromised.

That’s why Labor will protect Medicare, ensuring universal and affordable healthcare is available to all Australians.

Labor will protect bulk-billing by ending the Medicare Freeze and abolishing Malcolm Turnbull’s GP tax-by-stealth.

  • We will keep medicines affordable by scrapping the Liberals’ price hikes.
  • And we will legislate to prevent Medicare from being privatized.

Only Labor cares about a public health system for all Australians and is committed to addressing the injustice of poor health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Please note this is the corrected  IAHA ad for Page 3 of our printed newspaper

IAHA

NACCHO political news: Aboriginal National Congress told funding will go next July

Nat Congress

THE peak Aboriginal body has been told it must prepare to lose its federal funding from next July and find another way to support itself.

From Patricia Karvelas From: The Australian

Labor had promised to keep the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples funded with $15 million for another three years in this year’s May budget.

Since the election, the congress has hoped the Coalition would honour Labor’s pledge.

But Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said he had met the group’s co-chairs yesterday to warn them that was highly unlikely and they must look beyond the government for means of survival.

The edict came as Tony Abbott said last night that the referendum to acknowledge first Australians must surpass the apology and the 1967 referendum as a unifying moment for the nation.

In a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of law firm Arnold Block Leibler, the Prime Minister said “symbols” were important to reconciling with Aborigines.

He said too many had “felt like strangers” in the only land they had known. “The best thing we could do for Aboriginal Australia right now is push on as quickly as we can with constitutional recognition,” he said. “We have it in our hearts to do this.”

Senator Scullion told the congress’s co-chairs that while the final outcome would be determined by the Commission of Audit and be revealed at budget time, there was no appetite to keep them funded and they must use the next six months to plan for a future without federal funds.

“The circumstances are that the funding is unlikely, so I met with them and advised them that our priorities are frontline services and indicated that the principle reason that I don’t think they will keep getting funded was . . . we never committed to it during the election and our priorities are with our election commitments,” he said.

“I told them I wanted to tell them early to allow them to make financial plans. I told them I would lift restrictions on their current funds if I could.”

Senator Scullion said the co-chairs had asked whether the government would contract them for roles on a fee-for-service basis, and that he would consider it.

“I told them they had a role to represent the nation’s first people and they needed to grow their membership,” he said.

“I am very doubtful that a positive decision will be made on their funding and I think they need to start preparing for that.”

With its four-year federal funding deal to expire this year, the congress had written in a submission to the Abbott government that its Commission of Audit needed to recognise “the need for a sustainable independent national body” to ensure a voice for indigenous people.

NACCHO welcomes your comments

SEE BELOW

NACCHO political health alert: Warren Mundine says we must talk about Aboriginal health to close the gap

Close the gap

Close the gap

WE NEED to talk about Indigenous health. And the reason we need to talk about Indigenous health is because Indigenous people have significantly poorer health than other Australians and die much younger.

I have already reached the life expectancy of an indigenous male of my generation. And last year I had quintuple bypass surgery after the doctors found a 75 per cent blockage in the main artery to my heart. I also have diabetes. I have previously been obese. Fortunately I’ve never smoked or I would be dead.

Having cheated death I now live – psychologically at least – on borrowed time.

Please note: Warren Mundine is appearing on Q and A Monday 14 October ABC TV 9.30 pm

You can ask him a question HERE

So I no longer have the time or the patience to wait while the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in health and life expectancy stagnates or closes at a glacial pace. We can only close the gap by addressing the socio-economic standing of Indigenous people. We can only do that by looking at this issue through an economic and commercial lens.

The full speech is online at http://www.indigenouschamber.org.au/

Photo and article from Daily Telegraph

Most of us are aware of the depressing facts about indigenous health – it all paints a singular picture, a tapestry of interconnected health problems, risk factors and social issues. And when you step back from the tapestry, what you are really seeing here is poverty.

Most Aboriginal people of my generation grew up in poverty or not far above it.

I was no different. When my parents had their first child they lived on the banks of the Clarence River in a tent. By the time I came along, eight children later, they had bought a small house in Grafton.

We were a family of 13 but my father worked as a grader driver which was a good job for an Aboriginal man back then. Still, there wasn’t a lot of income. We were an example of the working poor. But at least we were working. My parents sent us to Catholic schools which were not segregated. Many Aboriginal people were doing much worse.

Then in the early 1970s the law was changed to mandate equal pay for Indigenous people and the government provided them with a welfare framework. Many working as stockmen or domestics lost their jobs. and they received money and services from the government for which they didn’t have to do anything in return.

Indigenous people embarked on a new existence. They would receive housing and other services and be taken care of. The older people coined the phrase “sit-down money” – and they weren’t being complimentary.

Poverty is both a cause and a result of poor health. People living in poverty live in environments that make them sick. If we want to lift people out of poverty then we need to get it right in three crucial areas: education, employment and the economy.

The most effective way to get people out of poverty is to get them into a job. For that they need an acceptable level of education and to live in a real economy. Many indigenous people don’t.

At the moment there are not enough jobs in remote indigenous communities, not because of remoteness but because there is almost a complete absence of commerce.

There are more jobs in urban communities but too many lack the education or training to fill them or are trapped in intergenerational welfare dependency.

One of the things we need to do as a matter of utmost priority is get more indigenous people working in the health sector.

Improving indigenous health is not just about indigenous people as patients. We also need indigenous people to be health workers. We need more indigenous doctors, nurses, midwives, researchers, dentists, dental hygienists, physiotherapists, occupational health therapists, optometrists, disability carers, aged care workers – and I could go on.

Training and actively encouraging Indigenous people to work in the health sector addresses Indigenous health in many ways. Firstly, it means putting Indigenous people in jobs, which is the best way to lift them out of poverty.

Secondly, it should help improve access to health services in remote and regional Australia. Demand for health services in remote and regional areas usually outweighs supply. We also know that the indigenous population is skewed towards remote and regional areas. People who come from those areas are also more likely to want to work there. So if more indigenous people from remote and regional communities who work in the health sector, it should help meet the demand for health services on the ground.

Thirdly, and very importantly, having indigenous people as health providers helps to address the fears and reluctance of some Indigenous people to access services.

I think there may be a perception that the health sector involves high-skilled jobs that are more likely to be out of reach of Indigenous people. Sure, it takes a long time to become a doctor or a researcher. All the more reason to be focused now on the increasing number of young indigenous people who are getting a first-rate education.

But not every job in the health industry is high skilled. There are many supporting, administrative and lower-skilled jobs that don’t require a university degree. Some even provide a pathway to higher-skilled jobs in the future.

In recent years I have been involved with the initiative to train 1000 Indigenous accountants by 2021. Why shouldn’t we also try to train 1000 indigenous doctors or set targets for other health professionals?

Australia should be able to solve these problems. We have skills, money, resources and brain power. Most importantly the Australian people and all Australian governments want to see the gap in indigenous health closed.

I would like to see it closed in my lifetime.

Warren Mundine is the executive chairman of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. this is an edited version of a speech for Baker IDI Central Australia in Alice Springs last Friday.

Warren Mundine - Panellist 

Warren Mundine

Warren Mundine was born in Grafton, New South Wales. He is from the first Australian nations of Bundjalung and the Gumbaynggirr people and is the former National President of the ALP.

He succeeded Barry Jones as President of the ALP, beginning his term in January 28, 2006, and became the first Indigenous Australian to serve as President of an Australian political party.

No longer a member of the ALP, Warren is the chair of Tony Abbott’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

Warren is Chief Executive Officer of NTSCORP Ltd, a company that assists traditional owners to achieve social justice and promote economic, environmental and cultural development through native title and other avenues.

As Chair of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, Warren provides national leadership for initiatives to promote economic development and help Indigenous people break the welfare cycle, such as the Australian Employment Covenant and the First Australians Business Awards.

Warren has been recognised for his community, government and business achievements by being awarded Doctor of the University at Southern Cross University. He has also been awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the community and local government and the Bennelong Medal for Leadership in Indigenous Affairs.

Warren was the ninth of 11 children in his family, eight boys and three girls. He was raised a Catholic. In 1963, the family moved to Sydney and settled in the inner-western suburb of Auburn. After leaving school, he found work as a fitter and machinist and as a sewerage worker, then later went back to night college to earn his Higher School Certificate. Following a job at the Australian Taxation Office, Warren moved to Adelaide, studying at the South Australian Institute of Technology. He now lives in Sydney and has seven children

NACCHO0024-1280x1024

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NACCHO health funding cuts alert: New Health Minister Dutton to cut jobs and research

Tanya Plibersek and Peter Dutton Debate

HEALTH Minister Peter Dutton (pictured above at the National Press Club) will cut the 6,500-strong army of health bureaucrats in federal departments to deliver “less spin doctors and more real doctors” and could cut research funding for two major health agencies – the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the year-old National Health Performance Authority .

  • The Coalition will also begin unwinding key “nanny state” agencies such as the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, established to lead the national fight against obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco use.
  • Two major health agencies – the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the year-old National Health Performance Authority – are under review and could have their combined budgets – of around $40 million a year – slashed.
  • Scrapping ANPHA will leave the Government open to criticism that it’s not taking seriously a raft of key health challenges – including the growing obesity challenge and tobacco and alcohol control.
  • But Mr Dutton is determined to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in bureaucratic expenses and is reviewing the ongoing role of the AIHW – which provides a national service on health and welfare statistics.
  • The National Health Performance Authority – established in 2011 to provide uniform statistics on the performance of hospitals and other health facilities – could also be absorbed back into the health department.

Job cuts loom for army of health bureaucrats

Confirming public servants should expect job cuts in the May budget, Mr Dutton said the big rise in health bureaucrats under Labor was “unsustainable”

But families hoping the Abbott government will overturn Labor’s means test for the 30 per cent rebate could be waiting a long time.

Mr Dutton said there was “little chance” of that happening in the May budget as Labor had left “no money in the bank.”

“I want less spin doctors and more real doctors and I want more money spent in operating theatres and not backroom operations,” Mr Dutton said.

“I think some of those jobs will have to go.”

The Abbott government is targeting up to 12,000 public servant jobs across all departments. Mr Dutton would not reveal how many health jobs were in the firing line.

“I’ve just got my eye on next May’s budget. The previous government increased bureaucracy in health by 30 per cent,” he said.

“We have to make sure we are spending money on hip operations, on GPs, on medicines and new cancer drugs and there’s only so much money. We have to make sure we are spending money wisely.

“There’s no money in the bank, that’s what Labor’s left us with. In terms of next May’s budget I think it’s very hard to see how we would be able to achieve the savings to turn back Labor’s attacks on private health insurance.”

The Gillard government introduced a means test for the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate for singles earning over $88,000 and for couples and families earning more than $176,000

Commonwealth agencies to be cut by Abbott Government 

AGENCIES responsible for tackling obesity, capital city planning and security advice on asylum seekers are to be slashed as Tony Abbott takes the axe to Labor’s reform agenda.

Less than a week after taking office, the Coalition Government has scrapped plans to build a multimillion-dollar embassy in Africa, and will also wipe $100 million off research funding.

The Prime Minister has also pulled the pin on a key Kevin Rudd initiative – Community Cabinet – as he instructs his new ministry team to put the broom through the bureaucracy.

Key elements of Labor’s reform agenda are being dismantled.

The Major Cities Unit – which provided advice on developing Australia’s 18 biggest cities – and the Social Inclusion Unit in Mr Abbott’s own Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet will be dismantled.

The Coalition will also begin unwinding key “nanny state” agencies such as the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, established to lead the national fight against obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Health Minister Peter Dutton has been critical of ANPHA’s decision to spend $500,000 on a study into a potential “fat tax” despite neither side of politics supporting such a move.

Senior ministers are now searching for big savings from departments with a raft of back office operations and smaller agencies on the chopping block.

“It’s out of control,” one senior minister said, of the rapid growth in Commonwealth agencies.

Even the Australian Institute of Criminology, established by Gough Whitlam in 1973, is under review and could be merged with a major university. in a bid to save millions of taxpayer dollars.

Two major health agencies – the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the year-old National Health Performance Authority – are under review and could have their combined budgets – of around $40 million a year – slashed.

One micro agency likely to be scrapped is the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments.

It was established in 2012 last year and reviews assessments by ASIO into people in detention.

But with a $1 million a year price tag, the Government will likely scrap the organisation.

The future is also uncertain for key agencies such as the Human Rights Commission.

Some senior Coalition figures are keen to scrap the Commission altogether – but that would provoke a serious political brawl that Mr Abbott is not keen to have.

Attorney-General George Brandis has signalled his intention to challenge what he sees as a Left-controlled human rights agenda, and the role of issue-specific commissioners – such as Disability – could be broadened as part of an overhaul of the HRC.

The future of the national Children’s Commissioner – announced by former PM Julia Gillard in February – is also in doubt. Its role could be radically reshaped to focus on cyber bullying.

Around $100 million will be cut from Australian Research Council grants with the Government determined to wipe out costly academic indulgences., such as a $443,000 study into the “God of Hegel’s Post-Kantian idealism”.

Senior Coalition figures say the Australian Institute of Criminology will be reviewed to see whether it should remain a stand-alone agency.

The Institute produces academic-style research papers and there is a view that its operations should be taken over by a big university, saving taxpayers a considerable sum of money.

Climate Change Minister Greg Hunt has already taken the knife to key agencies, including the Climate Commission.

And another of Kevin Rudd’s pet initiatives, Community Cabinet, will be scrapped with a saving of around $13 million over the four year forward estimates.

Other key Rudd reforms – including the expensive bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council – are being wound back with a planned new Australian embassy in Senegal to be abandoned.

Scrapping ANPHA will leave the Government open to criticism that it’s not taking seriously a raft of key health challenges – including the growing obesity challenge and tobacco and alcohol control.

But Mr Dutton is determined to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in bureaucratic expenses and is reviewing the ongoing role of the AIHW – which provides a national service on health and welfare statistics.

The National Health Performance Authority – established in 2011 to provide uniform statistics on the performance of hospitals and other health facilities – could also be absorbed back into the health department.

NACCHO congratulates Nova Peris: the first Aboriginal woman elected to Australia’s Federal parliament.

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The chair of NACCHO Justin Mohamed today congratulated  the new senator for the NT Nova Peris who has become the first Aboriginal woman to win a seat in Australia’s Parliament.

Whilst this news had hardly any coverage here in Australia there was extensive coverage internationally

Here are two of those reports

SYDNEY (AFP) – Former Olympian Nova Peris has become the first Aboriginal woman elected to Australia’s national parliament, a welcome achievement for the centre-left Labor Party which lost power in the polls.

Employment and workplace relations minister Bill Shorten, who is considered the frontrunner to become Labor’s next leader, said despite the loss, there had been a range of good candidates elected to serve, including Peris.

“That’s a good accomplishment,” he said Sunday of her election to represent the Northern Territory in the Senate. “And it backs up our accomplishment in terms of jobs for indigenous Australians.”

Olympian Peris won gold in field hockey at the 1996 Atlanta Games before switching to athletics to win gold in the 200m and 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Her pre-selection ruffled feathers though, with one conservative Aboriginal politician saying Labor had been shamed into pre-selecting an indigenous candidate and compared the politically inexperienced Peris to a “maid” inside Labor’s house.

Others were angered that her pre-selection bumped out Labor’s long-serving Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin.

In her victory speech on Saturday, Darwin-born-and-raised Peris said that federal politics had the same cruelness of elite sport and admitted she had thought “long and hard” about whether to enter the arena.

“I thought: ‘Can I do it?'” she told supporters on Saturday night.

“Sometimes in life you’ve got to back yourself and I’ve got a bit of a history of backing myself with my sporting career.”

Peris, who identifies with the Kiga People of the East Kimberley, Yawuru People of the West Kimberley (Broome) and Muran People of West Arnhem land in the Northern Territory, is set to be sworn in as a senator at the next sittings in Canberra.

Aboriginal woman’s Aussie Senate bid brings abuse

VIEW story here From the Washington Post

Facing the prospect of becoming the first Aboriginal woman to win a seat in Australia’s Parliament, Nova Peris said Sunday that she was targeted during her campaign by the worst onslaught of racial abuse she had ever endured.

After then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard hand-picked Peris in January to head the center-left Labor Party’s Senate ticket in the Northern Territory _ an almost unbeatable position that virtually assured her place in Australian political history _ she was bombarded with hate letters and emails that were so extreme she passed them to police.

“It’s not a nice feeling to be judged and looked down upon because of the color of your skin,” Peris said Sunday. “I had a string of letters and emails sent to me and they were horrific. And my husband was really, really upset.”

“They were pretty nasty. The worst I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said, declining to go into details.

But the threats did not deter her, and the 1996 Olympic gold medalist hockey player contested the Senate seat in elections Saturday. She appeared comfortably ahead in vote counting Sunday, but was not yet ready to claim victory.

“It’s like waiting for the result of a photo finish,” said Peris, comparing her anxious wait for the count to be finalized to her days as a world-class sprinter.

Aborigines are a minority of only 600,000 in Australia’s population of 23 million. The lack of Aboriginal representation in Parliament is a growing embarrassment for the leaders of major political parties.

No Aborigine had sat in Parliament before Neville Bonner arrived in 1971. The conservative Liberal Party senator, who had little formal education, was the only Aborigine in Parliament for the next 12 years before he was voted out.

In 1999, Aden Ridgeway, a senator from the minor Australian Democrats party, became the second Aborigine in Parliament, lasting for a single six-year term.

Liberal Ken Wyatt next won a seat in the House of Representatives in 2010, although a constituent later wrote to complain that he had not advertised his Aboriginality in the campaign. The constituent said he would not have voted for Wyatt if he had known.

Wyatt was re-elected Saturday to a second three-year term in his Western Australia state electorate, with an increased majority.

Adam Giles became the chief minister of Peris’ home state last year, and became the first Aboriginal head of a government.

Aborigines are the poorest ethnic group in Australia, suffer poor health and lag behind in education. They die years younger than other Australians on average and are far more likely to be imprisoned.

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has promised to work for a week each year as the nation’s leader in an Outback Aboriginal settlement to draw attention to indigenous struggles. He failed last year in a bid to recruit an Aboriginal woman lawmaker from the Northern Territory government to contest a federal seat.

Peris, a 41-year-old who competed in two Olympics _ as a hockey player in 1996 and as a sprinter in 2000 _ said she experienced racism throughout her sporting career. But the racism was worse in Australia than when she traveled internationally to compete.

She said she was pleased, however, that Australia’s major sporting bodies no longer tolerate racism of competitors or spectators.

“Racism is just ignorance,” she said. “Australia certainly has come a long way when you look at the reforms that have happened in the highest levels of sports. There’s no place for racism.”

“We’re talking about human beings, and it’s all about how we contribute to society and what are we doing today to make Australia a better place for the kids,” she said

NACCHO political alert: NACCHO welcomes Coalition Indigenous policy finally released

Tony
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

DOWNLOAD the COALITION INDIGENOUS POLICY BOOKLET HERE

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

HEALTH

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

NACCHO political alert: Peak Aboriginal organisation lashes Abbott and ticks off Labor

Congress Mob

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) has written to its 172 member organisations and almost 6500 individuals members, asking them to hold major political parties accountable for their policies and pledges regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the 2013 federal election.

An open letter by Co-Chairs Les Malezer and Kirstie Parker (pictured above top left) provides an overview of the policies and pronouncements both before and during the election campaign of the Australian Greens (Greens), Australian Labor Party (ALP), the Liberal Party of Australia and the Nationals (the Coalition).

Congress wrote to the parties in August asking for responses on key principles outlined in our document ‘Rights, Respect and Recognition: Congress’ Expectations of Australia’s Political Leadership’.

VIEW HERE

The responses from the parties are published on the Congress website.

FROM THE AUSTRALIAN TODAY

PATRICIA KARVELAS From: The Australian  September 04, 2013 12:00AM

THE peak body representing Aborigines has criticised Tony Abbott for his lack of commitment to the organisation and failure to acknowledge the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in an evaluation of the major parties that was sent to its members.

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples questioned the major parties on their commitment to advancing the interests of Aborigines.

It says the ALP supported the UN declaration in April 2009, and in 2010 gave moral and financial support for the establishment of the congress, but “regrettably the ALP has yet to address the declaration to any meaningful extent”.

The congress said it was not aware of the Coalition having made any official announcements on the UN declaration or the rights of first peoples.

“The Coalition has not expressed support for representation and decision-making,” it said.

It noted that the Opposition Leader had instead made commitments to manage indigenous affairs from the portfolio of prime minister and cabinet, and to establish an indigenous advisory council headed by Warren Mundine. Mr Abbott had also pledged to spend time in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as prime minister and this promise extended to his ministers.

They say that the Coalition says it will change the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to accede to freedom of speech and remove legal remedy to racial vilification.

“No party has yet committed to the proposed reforms of the Constitution that were recommended by the expert panel, particularly to the reform to prevent laws that are racially discriminatory.

“The ALP and the Coalition remain focused upon intervention in the Northern Territory through the Stronger Futures laws despite strong concerns identified by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights over breaches of Australia’s international human rights obligations under the race convention.

“The ALP has reinstated the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to apply to the Stronger Futures laws but congress considers that this is not a sufficient response to end discriminatory provisions”.

On closing the gap they say the Coalition supports the continuing strategy but “it is unclear whether the Coalition would maintain or extend existing programs”.

They write that the ALP has made some changes to the Native Title Act 1993 during the last two terms of government, but “arguably not in ways that improve the return of lands, territories and resources to ownership and management by the First Peoples”.

“In particular, the ALP has not reversed the onus of proof, as has been widely recommended. The Coalition has made no commitment to increasing ownership of lands, territories and resources but Warren Mundine, who would chair a Coalition Indigenous advisory council, has flagged changes to Aboriginal statutory bodies including land councils, regional councils, homeland councils, and corporations”.

“None of the major parties have provided detailed proposals to advance the land rights aspirations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”.

They say the major parties are mostly silent on the cultural interests of the first peoples and offer no major policy developments or investments.

“By providing this overview to you, Congress does not seek to tell you how or whether to vote in the federal election. It is your decision. We hope that the information that we have provided adds to your understanding of the political landscape and gives you ideas as to how to influence the Parliament of Australia to respect the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”.

CONGRESS PRESS RELEASE

5 key questions to political leaders

1.How will you work with Congress to ensure our legitimate role as a national representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is respected?

2.What measures will you take to ensure the rights and purposes set out in the

3.How will you support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to achieve self-determination?

4.What support will you provide Congress to fully participate in the development, implementation and monitoring of government laws, policies and programs, including through COAG?

5.What steps will you take to ensure that policies and strategies that affect us have the agreement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

“We are not telling people how to vote or whether to vote in the federal election, and we have not endorsed any political party over another,” said Co-Chair Parker.

“Rather, Congress has provided our members with information to help them ask key questions of their local candidates in the federal election, draw their own conclusions about policies, and cast an informed vote on Saturday.

“Congress’ role is to promote and protect the identity and rights of the First Peoples, and this includes informing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of election promises by the next Australian Government.

“We are pleased the major parties remain committed to achieving equality through ‘Closing the Gap’ strategies,” said Ms Parker.

“We applaud this approach to set targets and to measure performances.

“The parties accept close scrutiny and accountability against housing, education, employment and health goals, and Congress notes that the ALP and the Greens now also accept our proposal to incorporate justice targets in the strategies.

“But achieving equality in social indicators is only one of six priority areas.”

Co-Chair Malezer said the most important objective, from the view of Congress, is the commitment to implement in Australia the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“The Declaration upholds our right to self-determination and embodies the framework for development of Indigenous Peoples through community-based decision-making.

“Self-determination is essential, and our history in Australia proves centralised and unrepresentative government in Canberra cannot succeed, no matter how many advisors exist.

“Congress remains concerned that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are still harmed through racism at the individual and institutional levels.

“Constitutional reform to prohibit racism is recommended by Congress but the parties remain vague on the details for Constitutional reform.

“It is important that Congress members and our supporters are well informed and motivated about the important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policies of the next Australian government.

“We believe the performances during this election period are not up to the standard we deserve and should expect in this land,” said Mr Malezer.

The five questions are contained in the document: ‘Rights, Respect and Recognition: Congress’ Expectations of Australia’s Political Leadership’ and can be downloaded from nationalcongress.com.au

ENDS.

NACCHO political news:Nova Peris blasts Noel Pearson over support for NT intervention

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Labor Senate candidate for the Northern Territory Nova Peris hands out how-to-vote cards at a mobile polling booth on Goulburn Island, east of Darwin, yesterday. Picture: Amos Aikman Source: TheAustralian

ALP Senate candidate Nova Peris has lashed out at indigenous leader Noel Pearson over his support for the “demeaning” Northern Territory intervention, a Howard government policy adapted by Labor.

The indigenous dual Olympian said the NT Emergency Response had “ripped the heart” out of the Territory, and denied Labor’s Stronger Futures legislation including cornerstones of the NTER was the same.

Coalition NT senator and opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Nigel Scullion accused Ms Peris of being out of touch with “strong women” in remote communities, who had spoken out in favour of the intervention, and of trying to rewrite history.

Ms Peris made the comments on the first day of remote mobile polling for the 2013 federal election, in response to questions about Mr Pearson’s view that only a conservative leader could deliver a successful referendum on constitutional recognition of Australia’s first people.

Shown the remarks, revealed in The Australian yesterday, Ms Peris replied that while everyone was entitled to their opinion, Mr Pearson’s “certainly doesn’t fit with the people of the Northern Territory — that was made clear when he supported the intervention”.

“I’m on record saying there were certain issues across the Territory (at the time), but that the way the whole intervention was done, it was just demeaning, and it ripped the heart out of all Australia and out of the Territory,” she said.

“I have no doubt that the intervention has certainly hurt Aboriginal people in the NT.”

Mr Pearson did not respond to requests for comment.

When introduced in the last months of the Howard government, the intervention targeted child and alcohol abuse as well as pornography in 73 remote communities. Welfare payments were quarantined to pay for food, rent and other essentials and the Racial Discrimination Act suspended.