The NSW Opposition has condemned the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs’ failure to stand up for the Aboriginal community in NSW. The 2015/16 budget reveals a multitude of cuts affecting Aboriginal people in NSW including:
- $5.1 million cut from the Aboriginal Housing Office
- More than $6 million cut from Aboriginal Health Services
- Almost 3,000 fewer Aboriginal students studying at TAFE in 2015 compared to 2014
Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Linda Burney maintained:
“Where is the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on these issues? Her job is to advocate for the interests of Aboriginal people in our state, and she’s clearly failing.
“The government talks a big game on “closing the gap” but cutting Aboriginal health services will have a drastic negative impact.”
She added that: “In this budget, we see a range of failures across government – from health care, education and housing – things are getting worse for Aboriginal people.”
“It’s not enough to talk about improving the lot of Aboriginal people in NSW – the government must be investing in the services that actually make a difference.”
“While the Minister is out congratulating herself on increased funding for the Office of Aboriginal Affairs I hope she isn’t forgetting that from 2011/12 to 2014/15, the Aboriginal Affairs budget declined by 27 per cent. Any increase now is too little, too late.”
“I’m calling on Leslie Williams to stand up to her more senior colleagues and demand a fair go for the Aboriginal community” she implored.