Abbott’s cuts target desperately needed Aboriginal services

More Aboriginal children are being removed by welfare services than at any time in Australia’s history, but the Liberals have ended funding for Aboriginal Child and Family Centres across the country which assist disadvantaged families to stay together.

Australia is the only developed country in the world which as not eradicated trachoma, due to third world conditions in many remote communities. Yet the dedicated Indigenous Remote Eye Health Service, which was delivering clear results, was completely defunded in December.

Aboriginal people are one of the most incarcerated groups on the face of the planet, horrific deaths in custody continue, yet Aboriginal legal services are being forced to lay off staff and close down services to remote areas. The WA Liberal government has also announced they will defund the Aboriginal Interpreter Service operating in the north of the state. One hundred Aboriginal interpreter jobs are on the line meaning people will face court proceedings where they have no chance of understanding what is taking place.

The decision to end funding for municipal services in remote Aboriginal communities continues the agenda that has been gathering pace since the Intervention began—to force Aboriginal people off their lands and to “assimilate” into urban society. The Intervention was accompanied by Commonwealth policy encouraging “voluntary mobility” by starving remote communities of resources and jobs. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost, many in municipal services, as Community Development Employment Projects (CDEPs) were closed down across Australia.


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