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Minister Scullion: Increase in Indigenous expenditure

30 Oct 2017
  • $33.4 billion in Indigenous expenditure over 2015-16
  • Funding makes up six percent of total government spending
  • The Coalition Government’s $5 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) is investing 50 per cent of its funding in Indigenous owned and run organisations

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion has welcomed a Productivity Commission report which has found continued growth in investment in services and program to improve the lives of First Australians. 

Across all levels of government there has been a $2.2 billion increase from 2012-13 to 2015-16, focusing on healthier lives, education and early childhood support according to the Productivity Commission’s 2017 Indigenous Expenditure Report.

The Indigenous Expenditure Report provides an estimate of the level and pattern of Australian, state and territory government expenditure on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“This report highlights the government’s priority to improve the lives of First Australians, both through direct Indigenous Affairs funding as well as mainstream funding. 

During 2015-16 there was a $6 billion investment in Indigenous specific funding, complimenting the $27.4 billion of mainstream funding that First Australians accessed. 

Through the Coalition Government’s $5 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy, 50 per cent of funding is provided to indigenous organisations, up from 30 per cent before the introduction of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy – a shocking indictment on Labor’s commitment, or lack thereof, to funding Indigenous owned, run and managed organisations.

“The Coalition Government remains committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to provide funding for services and facilities to support communities to flourish and we are committed to partnering with Indigenous organisations where possible.

In addition to the Indigenous Advancement Strategy the Coalition Government continues to support Indigenous businesses through the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) which has awarded $594 million in contracts over two years in comparison to an abysmal $6.2 million in Labor’s last year in power. 

"It is disappointing that the Gunner Northern Territory Government has only used some of the figures in the report to attempt to state that Commonwealth funding for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory has reduced", Minister Scullion said. 

"While the Indigenous Expenditure Report states that direct expenditure by the Commonwealth has reduced, Nicole Manison should have read the whole report and seen that total Commonwealth expenditure has actually increased by $2,400 per person when Commonwealth funding to the Northern Territory Government is included. 

"At best this is misleading, at worst it is the standard of economic mismanagement that has led to the blow out of the Northern Territory Government budget under Nicole Manison's watch."

Funding for Indigenous Australians is double the per capita spending ($44,886) on non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians ($22,356).

“Though the levels of funding across jurisdictions has increased, the report does not comment on the effectiveness of this funding. It is important that while funding increases, reporting and accountability is maintained to ensure that the funds are continued to be used to improve the lives of First Australians.”

To read the report, visit the Productivity Commission website.

Find out more

Visit the Minister's website to view the original media release.