The Australian Government has committed $1.3 billion to continue driving its national reform agenda to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
This is in addition to the Australian Government's $3.6 billion investment through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Partnerships. With contributions from the States and Territories, Australian governments have committed $4.6 billion over the next ten years to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.
The Budget measures support the Australian Government's closing the gap agenda of:
The 2009-10 Budget will deliver:
As part of these reforms, savings of $326.7 million over five years from the CDEP program reforms will be redirected to fund the following employment and training initiatives for Indigenous job seekers:
These reforms complement reforms to the universal employment services (Job Services Australia) which will provide Indigenous job seekers with more tailored assistance as well as training and work experience. In addition, the reforms to CDEP will be supported through the Indigenous Economic Participation National Partnership Agreement, which will see the creation of around 2,000 jobs for the delivery of government services that were previously supported by CDEP.
The Government will also provide additional funding to help reset the relationship with Indigenous people:
COAG has committed $4.6 billion to improve housing, health, employment and to drive fundamental reforms to Indigenous service delivery over the next ten years.
Indigenous Remote Housing National Partnership
The Australian Government will provide an additional $1.9 billion over ten years to address significant overcrowding, homelessness, poor housing and to lay foundations for major reforms to Indigenous housing in remote Australia. This brings total funding to $5.5 billion over ten years which will enable the delivery of up to 4200 new houses and 4800 major upgrades to existing houses in remote communities.
Over 9000 Indigenous families will benefit from improved housing through:
The Indigenous Remote Housing National Partnership also clarifies the responsibilities of the Commonwealth, the States and the Northern Territory with the States and the NT taking the lead in housing delivery in remote Indigenous communities - providing standardised tenancy management and support consistent with public housing management.
Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes National Partnership
The Government will provide $805.5 million over four years to address the COAG agreed target of closing the life expectancy gap within a generation and halving the mortality gap for children under five within a decade. This measure delivers expanded primary health care and targeted prevention activities to reduce the burden of chronic disease.
Over a four-year period, around half of the adult Indigenous population (around 133,000 people) will receive a health check with about 400,000 chronic disease services delivered. More than 54,000 Indigenous people with a chronic disease will be provided with a self-management program, while over 70,000 Indigenous people will receive financial assistance to improve access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines.
Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership
At its 3 July 2008 meeting, COAG agreed to an integrated policy framework being used as a basis for investment and reform by all governments in Indigenous early childhood development. The first vehicle for implementing this policy framework is the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement. The National Partnership commenced on 1 January 2009 and commits $564 million of joint funding over six years until 2014. The Commonwealth and States and Territories are collaborating on the National Partnership, with jurisdictions taking the lead role in program implementation.
The National Partnership consists of three elements:
Indigenous Remote Service Delivery National Partnership
The Australian Government will provide $187.7 million over six years to improve the delivery of services in priority remote Indigenous locations. The first tranche of remote Indigenous locations are comprised of 15 communities in the Northern Territory, four locations in the Cape York and Gulf regions in Queensland, three in Western Australia, two in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia and two remote locations in the Murdi Paaki region in western New South Wales.
Benefits will include:
Indigenous Economic Participation National Partnership
The Australian Government will provide $172.7 million over five years to assist up to 13,000 Indigenous Australians into employment. This will involve creating up to 2,000 jobs in areas of government service delivery that have previously relied on subsidies through CDEP. Public sector Indigenous employment and career development strategies will also be reviewed to increase Indigenous public sector employment to reflect the Indigenous working age population share by 2015, and governments will also strengthen current procurement policies to maximise Indigenous employment, skills development and business creation.
More information on Budget measures is contained in the Fact Sheets available online at: FaHCSIA website
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