Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

COAG takes next important step to law and order in Indigenous Communities

Measures to address the problems of sex abuse and violence in Indigenous communities have been agreed to at today’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

This agreement follows on from, and supports, the elements of a $130 million package put on the table at the recent Summit on Violence and Child Abuse in Indigenous Communities. The Australian Government commitment is all the more significant because it supports work traditionally and solely within State jurisdiction.

The commitment by the States and Territories to commit additional resources is welcome and, while the proof will ultimately be ‘in the pudding’, State leaders deserve recognition for their demonstrated commitment to work with the Commonwealth to ensure that indigenous people enjoy the same right to safety from abuse as other Australians.

Officers from the Australian Government will immediately commence the process of giving practical effect to today’s commitment through finalisation of bi-lateral agreements with the respective State and Territory jurisdictions.

The details of a key element of the commitment, the National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse Task Force within the Australian Crime Commission, are outlined in a separate joint statement by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Hon Chris Ellison and myself. This announcement shows that the process agreed at the Summit just three weeks ago is already well underway.

There are a number of successful communities and many indigenous people have shown considerable commitment to building a better future for their people. However, there is still a long way to go and COAG also committed to further consideration of generational issues.

Today’s agreement signals a significant step to get on with the job of ensuring law and order and good governance to all communities.

Full details are contained in the COAG communiqué