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Senator Thorpe says Labor’s budget fails First Peoples

The 24/25 Federal Budget has offered only a fraction of the necessary funding that frontline and community services have been calling for.

Senator Lidia Thorpe has criticised the Albanese Government for making empty promises to First Peoples, saying this budget shows Labor are going backwards on delivering on their commitments.

 

Quotes attributable to Lidia Thorpe, Gunnai, Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung independent Victorian Senator:

"Labor has again failed First Peoples with this budget.

"The budget made no new major First Nations announcements. It just amplifies Labor’s silence on justice for First Peoples.

"Despite the cost of living crisis, the deaths in custody crisis, the child removal crisis and the housing crisis, Labor has chosen to put forward little in these areas. It’s a budget that re-allocates and re-announces existing funding, rather than providing anything new

"Labor could have chosen to fund measures to stop deaths in custody, stop more children from being taken from their families, help kids to avoid getting caught in the criminal legal system, and lift people above the poverty line"

"Instead, Labor has chosen to pour $50 billion more into defence, give tax handouts to people who are already well off, shovel hundreds of millions to Gina Rinehart’s mining companies, and prioritise a surplus over helping people.

"Critical frontline community services in crisis are crying out for funding for community-controlled health, housing, domestic violence, legal assistance, drug and alcohol support, and youth programs. But once again, these calls have been ignored by Labor.

"Right now kids in out-of-home-care are living in motel rooms, people in prison are dying because they’re denied healthcare, children are being funnelled into prison at record rates because there’s no diversion services, people are being denied legal assistance, women and children fleeing violence have nowhere to go. The list goes on.

"Labor should be deeply ashamed that they’ve chosen to let people continue to suffer, while giving more handouts to the rich and favours to their corporate mates.

"I’ll keep fighting for justice for First Peoples, because it’s clear that Labor don’t care."

 

 

Further comment on key areas. Quotes attributable to Lidia Thorpe, Gunnai, Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung independent Victorian Senator:

Redress

"After advocating with the government for several months for an increase of $50 million for redress support services and the establishment of in-prison support services, I am glad to see an additional $33.3 million to better support survivors of institutional child sexual abuse through the application process, including through a prison-specific support service."

 

Legal Assistance Services

"The community legal aid sector has been forced to turn more and more people away as caseloads have doubled, adding to this country’s obscene incarceration rates.

"The sector has been crying out to be properly resourced but has been ignored once again in this budget with totally inadequate funding and no funding security beyond the next year.

"Meanwhile, the government is increasing the reach and powers of police, and increasing policing of First Nations people in Alice Springs. This will put more pressure on the legal assistance sector and see more people unjustly jailed, including children.

"Now we know why the government has been hiding the review of the National Legal Assistance Partnership. It's because the government had no intention to take the demands of the community legal sector seriously or commit any real ongoing funding for legal services."

 

Prisons & Justice

"The major announcement in the First Nations space is a Prisons to Employment Transition program.

"While it’s good that Labor is recognising that prisons do little to help people with rehabilitation, this program will not address the root causes of over-incarceration of our people in the first place, nor the growing number who die in custody.

"We need to properly resource our communities so that they can self-determine their own destinies, and we need real justice reinvestment that tackles the systemic racism in police, prisons and courts.

"Communities need help with all the issues that drive people’s contact with the criminal legal system. They need youth support programs, health and mental health care, housing, drug and alcohol services, and disability supports, but Labor is failing in these areas."

 

Truth & Treaty

"Labor has gone completely quiet on its promise for a Makarrata Commission.

"This budget leaves nothing but questions on what is happening to already existing funding.

"The government is using the failed Voice vote as an excuse to walk back its commitment to Truth and Treaty.

"The referendum was clearly a vote on the Voice and the Voice only. Labor must progress its commitment to Truth and Treaty so we are finally able to heal and mature as a nation."

 

Palestine

"Labor have offered no additional funding for aid to address the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which is cold-blooded and shameful.

"It's obscene that Labor will pour $50 billion more into defence, but offer nothing for people suffering through this humanitarian crisis."

"While additional funding to support people arriving here in financial hardship is welcomed, this funding must be made accessible to all people escaping genocide and delivered in a way that is led by the Palestinian community." 

 

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