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Aboriginal assistance programs in New South Wales

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Aboriginal organisations would receive almost two-thirds of the total funds of $15,232 million for Aboriginal assistance programs in New South Wales funded by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Ian Viner said today

The $9,523 million which would go directly to organisations was an expression of the Government's confidence in its policy of self-help and self-management among Aboriginal communities.

The balance, $5,709 million, would be provided to the State Government to be channelled into special programs under the control of State departments.

The Minister said housing would remain the largest single program with an allocation of $6.89 million. This was a direct reflection of the expressed priorities of Aboriginals in N.S.W.

Direct grants of $4,134 million would go to 38 Aboriginal housing associations and six NSW Lands Trust reserves for housing projects which would employ 64 Aboriginals on a full time basis and 38 on a part time basis on the completion of 12 houses begun

Ians financial year, the purchase of 25 houses and the construction of a further 99 houses, 65 of which were planned for completion this financial year. ,

The remaining $2,756 million would go to the State Government for the completion of 77 houses commenced in 1977/78 and the construction of 70 additional houses.

Mr Viner said the Aboriginal Housing Company at Redfern would complete its housing program and a new housing project would begin at Lightning Ridge.

Increased efforts would being made to improve housing in North and North-Western N.S.W. where he had described conditions as "appalling" when he visited the region earlier this year.

He said the $2.43 million allocated for health programs would go to projects with emphasis on alcohol rehabilitation, some of which were begun last last year after the Government announcement of further funds for that purpose. Projects are at Broken Hill,

Chippendale and Lismore. .

Education programs would receive financial support to the extent of $1,614 million. This would include training for Aboriginal teaching aides and adult education programs. .

The Murawina pre-school for Aboriginal children at Chippendalt would be completed this financial year with a grant of $300,000, with the balance to be provided by the Office of Child Care and the Norman Catts Bequest. ' ·


Mr Viner said that in line with the Government's NAtional Employment Strategy for Aboriginals,.Special Work Projects would be funded and his Department would continue to liaise with the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations on the NEAT Scheme. He said programs had been, and were being, developed

to complement that Scheme.

. A total of $510,000 had been provided for training programs which would have new emphasis on developing employment and .

self-management skills.

The Department of Technical and Further Education would receive $397,000 for the provision of pre-trade, pre-vocationa.1. and clerical and book-keeping courses for Aboriginals. In addition a further $45,000 would be allocated to conduct courses in country centres and provide training in literacy, pre-trade and trade skills.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service would receive $22,000 for the training of 50 Aboriginals in the identification and protection of sacred sites in remote areas.

Direct grants totalling $413,000 would be allocated for training courses, including $40,000 to the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education at Lismore for operational costs and equipment for community learning units which would be located

in communities and provide training in literacy, pre-trade and trade skills. /

Social development programs, including legal aid, accounted for $2,965 million. Under this allocation the Government would continue to fund two Aboriginal legal services which began operation; last year. '

An amount of $70,000 would be provided for the transfer of assets from the Department of the Capital Territory to the community at Wreck Bay in the A.C.T. and $205,000 would be used to provide sewerage and water schemes to Aboriginal communities at Wallaga Lake (South Coast) and Box Ridge, Woodenbong and Baryulgil (North Coast). · ’

A grant of $45,000 would be used to provide a flood free camp site for itinerant Aboriginal workers at Wee Waa and $156,000 for sewerage scheme at Purfleet, near Kempsey.

The Minister said the total increase of $10 million or 9.1 per cent for direct spending on Aboriginal programs compared favourably with the overall increase in Budget outlays for 1978/79.

He said "the Government commitment to Aboriginal Affairs policies of self-management has been more than adequately demonstrated in the 1978/79 Budget".

CANBERRA, A.C.T. 20 August, 1978.