Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Tony Abbott still won’t rule out Indigenous cuts

Tony Abbott must come out today and guarantee he won’t slash one cent of Indigenous funding.

If Mr Abbott does not give this guarantee, his high rhetoric on Indigenous affairs rings hollow.

This Labor Government has delivered $22 million in funding to the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation because we recognise that a good education means brighter futures for Indigenous children.

It’s not good enough for Mr Abbott to briefly come out of hiding and guarantee the funding of a single organisation supported by the Gillard Government.

After years of underinvestment and neglect under the Howard Government, this Labor Government has made unprecedented investments to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, with more than $5.2 billion in funding for employment, education, health services, community development and community safety.

We have set out a clear pathway to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, and we’re making the investments that are needed to get there. The progress we’ve made over the past five years in partnership with Indigenous people has delivered encouraging results. Tony Abbott can’t put all of this at risk.

Tony Abbott must today make a solemn commitment to protect the investments Labor is delivering to improve the lives of Indigenous people.

Not tomorrow, not next week – today.

If he does not give this guarantee, it will be clear to all Australians that Tony Abbott and the Liberals cannot be trusted to deliver for Indigenous people.