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Indigenous spending plan flawed from the beginning: Greens

The Australian Greens have called on the government to fundamentally change its approach to funding policies relating to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, to prevent millions more being wasted on ineffective programs.

The call comes in response to news that the programs being funded in Aboriginal communities are not effective, despite the government spending $3.5 billion dollars annually.

"This should come as no surprise for those that have been involved in these issues. For years there has been concern that funding isn't being spent wisely. There simply isn’t adequate consultation, programs are ineffectively targeted and not based on evidence," Senator Siewert, Greens Spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said today.

"The Greens have been critical about the intervention ever since its introduction. The program was introduced by John Howard with no consultation with the community and is discriminatory and punitive. The approach was flawed to begin with and was obviously going to result in money being wasted.

"Unfortunately this Government has not learnt from these mistakes and is currently undertaking a quick consultation process about the next phase of the intervention in the NT. However there is concern, as many people believe the outcomes have been predetermined.

“The Greens have been saying for years that the government needs to consult more with people who know what they are talking about, even if it means ripping up well-intentioned plans and starting afresh. The Government needs to significantly change the way it approaches Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander funding," Senator Siewert concluded.

Media contact: Jo Somerville 0418 401 180

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