The Greens have today announced their election commitment to work with First Nations peoples to address Australia’s unfinished business, close the gap and achieve justice.
Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said a commitment to self-determination must be at the heart of closing the gap, and that this approach has been sadly lacking.
“The Greens have today announced our costed commitment to addressing our unfinished business with the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a priority," Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“To be a truly reconciled nation, we need to negotiate treaties with First Nations peoples now.
“We must firmly slam the door on punitive controlling measures like the Intervention, the cashless debit card and the community development program which undermine self-determination of First Nations communities and any chance we have at closing the gap.
“The overt racism of past Government policies remains evident in the record high number of First Nations peoples who are incarcerated and the unacceptably high number of First Nations children in out of home care.
“We are joining First Nations organisations in calling for the adoption of national justice targets to close the gap in the rates of imprisonment of First Nations peoples, and to close the gap in the rates of violence against First Nations peoples, with priority strategies for women and children.
"The Closing the Gap targets must also include out-of home care.
“The Greens will restore the over $500 million that was cut from First Nations programs. If we are serious about closing the gap, First Nations organisations need better funding support and certainty.
“Until programs are properly funded any commitment to close the gap will not succeed.
“It’s time that all political parties were ready to acknowledge the truth about our shared history, listen to First Nations peoples when they tell this truth and be part of addressing the contemporary consequences of invasion and the intergenerational trauma, the resulting dispossession and marginalisation that is part of our unfinished business.”
The Greens will:
- Work with First Nations peoples to establish a path to treaties
- Work with First Nations peoples to establish a body to enable agreement making between governments and First Nations peoples
- Work with First Nations peoples to establish a Voice to Parliament
- Address the high rates of incarceration of First Nations peoples
- Reduce the disproportionate rates of First Nations children in out of home care; and
- Close the Gap in First Nations health outcomes
The full policy can be found here.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180