Thursday, 8 October 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Leichhardt. Your interest in our people has been significant over a long period of time.
I want to start by saying that this budget, in every facet of every portfolio, has something for Indigenous Australians—across all portfolios. As the Prime Minister said to all of us, 'You are ministers for Indigenous Australians' and so that is now being reflected in the portfolio budget statements. It's reflected in Minister Hunt providing an additional amount of funding for ongoing work around rheumatic heart disease, which takes the lives of Indigenous children. There's the $5.4 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy. There's the $155 million for the IBA to allow 360 Indigenous Australians to buy their own homes. There's $4 billion in Indigenous health funding, of which there was a significant injection of $975.5 million in the 2020-21 budget. There's $46.5 million over four years to support the national agreement to close the gap, with the states reciprocating and matching the Commonwealth contribution to bring that to $100 million over that period. There's $10.1 million for the return of cultural remains and artefacts from overseas, as the repatriation element is important. There's $4.1 million over two years to create four new Indigenous ranger teams on the Murray-Darling, so we'll have 20 Indigenous rangers employed. There's $27 million, in my colleague's portfolio of the arts, for Indigenous arts, to allow their work to continue to grow. But further there is the tax relief—the funding that will come back into the pockets of Indigenous Australians because of the tax cuts—and the wage subsidies for young workers. We are looking at the opportunities within the apprenticeship schemes to have the outcomes that see young people enter into apprenticeships and play their part in the economic recovery of Australia. For Aboriginal businesses, there's the enhanced asset write-off that will enable them to expand. Even during the COVID period, we provided $19.8 million for a very specific target around supporting our tourism and tourism expansion. In addition to that, there was $123 million, of which $50 million was provided to support and sustain Indigenous businesses to be there at the end of the period and be a part of the recovery of our economy. In addition, there's funding of $10 million to the land councils for homeland movement and to provide support, and a number of other measures. This budget does capture, across all portfolios, opportunities for Indigenous Australians.