In this submission, ANTaR outlines key expenditure priorities for the 2012-13 Federal Budget. These recommendations are designed to promote community and economic development, advance human rights and address the disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In the 2011-12 Budget, the Federal Government invested an additional $500 million / 5 years in new funds to designated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples programs and initiatives. These funds were divided between health ($237.7 million), education and training ($226.1 million), employment ($100.4 million, linked to CDEP2), welfare reform and income management ($34.0 million) and broadcasting ($15.2 million).
While we have sought to cost the Budget recommendations in this submission, we urge the Government to consult with affected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies, organisations and other stakeholders before making final funding decisions. Where possible, the Federal Government should seek to make multi-year funding commitments to provide certainty for affected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, as recommended by the Strategic Review into Indigenous Expenditure Report. The discussion of Northern Territory (NT) community budget priorities draws heavily on ANTaR’s recent paper, A Better Way: Building healthy, safe and sustainable communities in the Northern Territory through a community development approach.