Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Tony Abbott’s real plan for the Northern Territory: no investments and no jobs

Nigel Scullion has today revealed Tony Abbott’s real plan for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory if he is elected Prime Minister.

A Coalition Government would cut investment, cut services and cut jobs in the Northern Territory.

The Australian Government today released the first Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Six-Monthly Progress Report. It showed very encouraging improvements, with fewer Aboriginal children being identified as vulnerable, and more Aboriginal people getting good jobs in their communities.

Nigel Scullion’s response was to put this progress in jeopardy and threaten jobs and services in communities.

Nigel Scullion said the jobs the Gillard Government has helped create for Aboriginal people under Stronger Futures are just ‘welfare jobs’. They are not. They are real jobs, with real wages. They include:

  • 350 Aboriginal people who are employed in Community Night Patrols, making sure their communities are safe;
  • 189 Aboriginal people employed in the School Nutrition Program, making sure kids are being fed every day before they start school;
  • 54 Aboriginal people employed in playgroups and cr`eches, making sure Aboriginal children are getting the best possible start in life; and
  • 47 Aboriginal people employed as Youth in Community Workers, helping young Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory stay on the right track so they can finish school and get a good job.

The investments the Labor Government is making in the Northern Territory mean more Aboriginal families are experiencing all the benefits that a good job brings.

If Nigel Scullion and Tony Abbott get their way these jobs are at risk.

The Government’s sustained investment in programs and services under our $3.4 billion Stronger Futures package will continue to make a big difference in Aboriginal communities over the next ten years.

Our long term commitment under Stronger Futures gives Aboriginal people and communities an assurance that we are not walking away.

Nigel Scullion and Tony Abbott will do exactly that. They will walk away from Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, and they’ll take the investments, the jobs and the services with them.
Tony Abbott’s Budget in Reply speech didn’t even include a single sentence on his priorities for Indigenous Australians – but that doesn’t mean Indigenous people aren’t in his sights.

Tony Abbott wants to keep it a secret, but the fact is he will make savage cuts to programs and organisations that improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The progress we’ve made in partnership with Indigenous people is at risk under a conservative Abbott Government.

Tony Abbott and the Liberals can’t be trusted to deliver for Aboriginal people.