Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

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Submission
Description

Everyone is affected by COVID-19. However, there will be people who suffer more than others, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The pandemic can be used as an opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to emerge on the other side of COVID-19 with stronger health, welfare, community infrastructure, and economic systems that are grounded in the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and in Indigenous self-determination.

Key Recommendations:

  • The Government needs to prioritise ending homelessness and overcrowding in Australia by 2030 by prioritising the urgent build, repair and maintenance of safe, accessible, and secure public and social housing.
  • The National Cabinet needs to permanently maintain the Coronavirus Supplement to JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, and the other income support payments that it applies to, to reduce poverty for millions of Australians.
  • The National Cabinet needs to prioritise an independent analysis of police stop data during the pandemic. An independent analysis of stop data is a critical part of this independent review process to determine whether COVID-19 related policing impacted upon certain demographics or communities disproportionately.
  • The Australian Government needs to end the Basics Card Program and income management programs and instead prioritise the provision of culturally safe social, health, welfare, and economic support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that is strong on Indigenous culture and centred on Indigenous self-determination.
  • The National Cabinet, in partnership with ATSILS and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, needs to also focus on alternatives to imprisonment, like culturally safe diversionary programs and on providing our communities the support that we need to survive this pandemic now and into the future.
Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
open