Four quick highlights from Congress Budget watch
Health: $777 million commitment to the National Partnership Agreement in health.
Congress, our members and our Close the Gap partners will continue to work with the Federal, State and Territory governments to secure a national agreement and to implement the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan. Our Peoples health must be quarantined from cuts and given long term commitments to see real improvements.
The funding for the Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research, The Lowitja Institute, has been confirmed – $25 million over five years.
Education: 9.8 billion Gonski funding.
Congress welcomes the extra money from this funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
The extra funding for the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (11.9 million over 4 years) will help improve retention rates and we also note the funds for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (10 million).
Justice: $12 million extra over 2 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.
Congress welcomes the commitment to each of our ALS member organisations.
The budget however has not delivered a clear commitment to Justice Reinvestment programs or the proposed Justice targets for Closing the Gap.
National Representative Body: The government has also made a clear commitment to working with Congress and ensuring our role as a strong independent representative body is maintained.
Congress funding continues until 2017 with an allocation of $15 million over 3 years.
Look out for more budget highlights and analysis tomorrow.