A carefully worded report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is basically damning of the implementation of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS), confirming the many criticisms from community from the time the IAS was introduced, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Read through the report by the ANAO and you have a long list of fundamental failures by the Government to properly implement the IAS. The problems are so many that it will be extremely difficult to establish if the IAS meets its objectives.
“Not fully implementing a consultation strategy, not advising the Minister of potential risks, not meeting key timeframes for implementation, not implementing proper partnerships with Aboriginal communities, opaque negotiations, inconsistent assessment processes. The list goes on and on.
“The Government has agreed to the recommendations but I have to ask how it was allowed to get to this stage. Such fundamental flaws have real life impacts on the ground to service organisations, Aboriginal communities and even at an individual level. The whole strategy has been mired with uncertainty.
“Our First Peoples deserve better. This is not good enough.
“The Government announced $40million for evaluation of the strategy today to counter the damning report. What the Government needs to do is acknowledge the fundamental flaws in their approach and commit to developing a new approach in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Islander community.
“The Government also needs to re-instate the half billion dollars ripped out of funding during the Abbott-era. Local communities are still feeling the effects of this huge cut”.