CONGRESS STATEMENT ON THE FEDERAL BUDGET 2012-13

Posted on 9 May 2012

Congress notes the $5.2 billion announced in tonight’s “Indigenous Budget Statement” as part of the 2012-13 Federal Budget.

The joint Ministerial announcement for employment, education, health, community development and community safety, identifies the Government’s funding commitments in their efforts to close the gap.

Congress and all of our peak Member organisations are analysing the detail of these announcements to gauge what is new investment by the Government and together will monitor the effectiveness of this investment.

Congress specifically welcomes the ten-year funding arrangements for the Northern Territory which will ensure greater certainty for Aboriginal community organisations to influence positive change.

This reform will deliver better outcomes including more serious and effective planning and viability and continuity of programs.

Congress has supported the pre-Budget funding boost for services and infrastructure for Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

Congress’s call for specific governance and leadership programs has been delivered in this year’s Budget and we look forward to seeing the detail of these associated programs.  We know that investment in local decision-making strengthens our peoples and increases the viability of our communities.

Following the findings in the Department of Finance “Strategic Review of Indigenous Expenditure” released last year, Congress will work with the Government to cut red tape from the funding processes from application to reporting, and including implementation, delivery and evaluation.

We also know that blanket approaches and punitive measures do not increase long-term sustainability of our communities and we need to see more flexibility and working in equal partnerships with communities.

9 May 2012

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