Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott must guarantee he won’t cut Indigenous funding

Coalition sources have confirmed that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will slash vital funding that improves the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“While Dr Roberts’ funding threat may have been in the heat of the moment, Coalition sources confirm Aboriginal Affairs will see the axe wielded, should Tony Abbott take Government in September.”

– Paul Bongiorno, Ten News, 19 April 2013

Tony Abbott must guarantee today that no funding invested in programs for Indigenous people would go if he is elected.

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.

Just this week, the Government committed $777 million to renew our work to close the gap on Indigenous health outcomes.

Meanwhile, one of Tony Abbott’s most senior staff was using violent language against the respected head of an organisation supporting Indigenous people, and threatening to cut their funding “when in Government.”

The Gillard Government’s unprecedented investments to close the gap are making a difference. This year we are meeting our first closing the gap target, with more Indigenous children having access to pre-school or kindergarten than ever before, and our target of halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018 is also on track to be met.

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 Indigenous people.