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Budget priority for Aboriginal housing, health and education



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EMBARGO TO 3 P.M> SATURDAY 23rd A ugust.

BimGET PRIORITY FOR ABORIGINAL HOUSING.HEALTH AND EDUCATION. ' ................................. / ' " ' ” ' " '

(S tatem ent by th e M in is te r f o r A b o rig in al A ffa ih s , Mr Les Johnson)

Proposed spending on A b o rig in al housing, h e a lth and e d u catio n w ill r i s e from $89·7 m illio n in 1974-75 to $109.3 m illio n w ith in th e Budget f o r

1975-76 * a r i s e o f $19.5 m illio n .

The M in is te r f o r A b o rig in al A f f a ir s , Mr Les Johnson, sa id today

t h i s in c re a s e r e f le c te d th e G overnm ent's re s o lv e to c o n s o lid a te and expand

i t s :e f f o r t s in th e m ajor a re a s o f d isad v an tag e to A b o rig in a l p eo p le.

: He was sp eaking a t th e o f f i c i a l opening of th e K ir in a r i H ostel

f o r A b o rig in al g i r l s tu d e n ts , a t A llam bie H eig h ts, Sydney.

The h o s te l , to which th e A u s tra lia n Government has c o n trib u te d $175>000, w ill be o p erated by th e M anly-W arringah Branch o f th e A b o rig in al C h ild re n 's Advancement S o c ie ty to house 25 A b o rig in al g i r l s w hile th e y complete t h e i r secondary e d u c a tio n .

Mr Johnson sa id A u s tra lia n Government spending from a l l so u rces on e d u ca tio n programs f o r A b o rig in a ls would in c re a s e by 32 p e r c en t in 1975-76, compared to 1974— 75· S p e c ia l a s s is ta n c e o f t h i s kind would in c re a s e from $31.2 m illio n to $41.5 m illio n t h i s f in a n c ia l y e a r.

As w e ll, g ra n ts to s t a t e E ducation D epartm ents and A b o rig in al o rg a n is a tio n s would in c re a s e s i g n i f i c a n t l y , he added.

S c h o la rsh ip a s s is ta n c e to A b o rig in al s tu d e n ts in sc h o o ls, f u r th e r

e d u ca tio n and t e r t i a r y e d u catio n a s s is ta n c e , and funds f o r expansion of

e d u c a tio n a l o p p o rtu n itie s in th e N orthern T e r r ito r y , a ls o re c e iv e d a s tro n g

b o o s t. . .

The main aim o f th e in c re a se d funds was to provide e q u a lity o f

e d u ca tio n o p p o rtu n itie s fo r a l l A b o rig in a ls , he s a id .

Mr Johnson s a id th e is s u e o f A b o rig in al h e a lth problems was u rg e n t,

and g ra n ts f o r t h i s purpose from a l l A u s tra lia n Government so u rces would r i s e

45 p e r c en t from $15.1 m illio n l a s t f in a n c ia l y e ar to $21.9 m illio n .

The in c re a se d funds would p ro v id e f o r expansion of h e a lth s e rv ic e s and f a c i l i t i e s by th e S ta te s and in th e N orthern T e r r ito r y to meet p re s s in g

needs of r u r a l A b o rig in a ls , among whom h e a lth problem s were th e most s e r io u s .

/ 2

2 .

S u b s ta n tia l a d d itio n a l funds would a ls o be a v a ila b le f o r th e

m aintenance o f e x is t in g m edical s e rv ic e s o p erated by and f o r A b o rig in a ls in

urban c e n tre s throughout A u s tr a lia .

Mr Johnson sa id adequate housing was an im p o rtan t p r e r e q u is ite f o r b oth h e a lth and e d u c a tio n , and in c a rry in g out i t s pledge to house a l l

A b o rig in al people s a t i s f a c t o r i l y , the Government would t h i s y e a r provide a t o t a l o f 144.9 m illio n , compared w ith $43.4 m illio n l a s t y e a r, and $25.1 m illio n

in 1973/74.

He said A b o rig in a l housing was provided through p ro v isio n o f funds to S ta te Governments f o r b u ild in g o r p u rc h a sin g homes; by d i r e c t fu n d in g of

A b o rig in al Housing A sso c ia tio n s lo c a te d in th e S ta te s and th e N orthern T e r r ito r y ; and through th e w holly government-downed company, A b o riginal H o ste ls L im ited, where h o s te l accommodation was re q u ire d .

For A b o rig in a ls who wished to own t h e i r own homes $3 m illio n was provided in 1974-75 to th e newly formed A b o rig in al Loans Commission but t h i s f in a n c ia l y e ar $7 m illio n had been provided f o r t h i s purpose.

The Commission makes in d iv id u a l lo an s on a c c e p ta b le term s to home p u rc h a se rs .

Mr Johnson p ra is e d th e members o f th e C h ild re n 's Advancement S o c ie ty f o r r a i s i n g $40,000 tow ards th e h o s te l.

He s a id t i t l e to th e p ro p e rty would be h eld by A b o riginal H o stels

Ltd which would be re s p o n s ib le f o r fu tu r e m aintenance.

However th e h o s te l would be le a se d to th e S o c ie ty which would u n d ertak e i t s day-by-day o p e ra tio n .

Mr Johnson r e c a lle d th a t he had sought F e d e ra l Government a s s is ta n c e f o r K ir in a r i in J u ly 1970 in a l e t t e r to th e then M in iste r

f o r A b o rig in a l A ffa irs Mr 1 . C. Wentworth, M.H.R. f o r M ack eller.

N ote i K ir in a r i i s an A boriginal name meaning "p lace o f le a rn in g " .

CANBERRA A.C.T.

23 August 1975-

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