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Budget 2006: Strengthening indigenous communities: Budget delivers new opportunities for indigenous Australians.

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Strengthening Indigenous Communities


The Hon Mal Brough MP Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs

Budget delivers new opportunities for Indigenous Australians

This Budget provides the biggest investment in Indigenous affairs on record, of $3.3 billion in 2006-07. The record expenditure is the result of allocating close to $500 million over five years in the 2006-07 Budget, with 24 new initiatives across six portfolios. This includes capital investment in financial assets of $114.6 million.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough said the record spending involves a comprehensive strategy aimed at ensuring Indigenous Australians have the same choices and opportunities in life as other Australians.

Mr Brough said the package centres around a significant investment in people by strengthening governance and management of Indigenous organisations and developing local leadership capacity.

‘As part of the Budget initiatives, a network of remote community stores will be set up across Australia to give children a better start in life through healthy and affordable food,’ Mr Brough said.

‘Young Indigenous Australians will have access to better education through the creation of 20 school-based sports academies.’

‘The roll-out of non-sniffable fuel will be expanded and the Government will provide funding for 40 more medical professionals to work in remote communities.’

Mr Brough said the record funding in Indigenous affairs was only part of the assistance.

‘Our approach is to make mainstream programmes work for Indigenous Australians and place a focus on value for money and practical outcomes as part of Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs),’ Mr Brough said.

‘Key Government agencies delivering services to Indigenous Australians will set aside at least $75 million over four years of existing resources to be applied flexibly to the development of SRAs.’

‘Our aim is to ensure Indigenous Australians have the same choices in life that most of us take for granted.’

Cont’d …

Mr Brough said more Indigenous families, including those living on Indigenous land, will have access to the long-term financial security provided by home ownership.

‘The Government is continuing to tackle the pressing issues of substance abuse, domestic violence and health. Five new family violence prevention legal services will be created while the existing 26 services will be expanded,’ Mr Brough said.