Tuesday, 8 August 2023
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Indigenous Australians. Internal talking points produced by the National Indigenous Australians Agency, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that $21.9 million has been provisioned in the contingency reserve for the Makarrata Commission. Why has the government allocated $21.9 million in funding in contingency reserve for the Makarrata Commission?
I thank the member for Hume for his question. I'm very pleased you've raised the issue of money. As I have said, funding has been committed to a makarrata in line with the policy that we took to the last election. You might have noticed that. But our priority is Constitutional recognition through a Voice. That's what the referendum is about, because not all governments in the past have listened to the needs of Indigenous Australians.
On the weekend, I was in Arnhem Land and I sat down and listened to locals. They told me that under the last government the community at Nhulunbuy missed out on funding for CCTV and safety lighting despite being deemed the 26th most worthy project out of 2,011—a program administered by the now Leader of the Opposition. I think The Age summed it up: 'Dutton bypassed Indigenous community safety for grants in coalition seats.'