Minister used Aboriginal funds to fight Aboriginal land claims
The peak organisation representing the rights of Australian indigenous peoples seeks answers from Nigel Scullion, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, for allocating Indigenous Advancement Strategy funds to industry groups to oppose land rights claims.
"The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has had long standing concerns that funds allocated by the federal parliament specifically to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are often siphoned off by administrative authorities and do not reach their target and this proves that our concerns need to be addressed.
"The grants come from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, a $4.9 billion policy shake up brought in by Abbott Government to cut red tape but have been a failure as the whole process is deeply flawed and needs to come under full internal review by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
"The funds amounting to $500,000 that need to be used for uplifting our peoples in remote communities have been given to the NT Seafood Council $150,000, NT Amateur Fishermen’s Association $170,000 and NT Cattlemen’s Association $165,000. Mr Scullion has highlighted that these funds be used towards legal fees to argue the negative impact by the land right claims."
Dr Jackie Huggins, co-chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples said, “The current government has shown in the past and continues to show their lack of empathy and interest in the advancement of Nation’s First Peoples. This money needs to be utilised for closing the gap and improving the life of our peoples, instead is being harnessed to use against our land claims.
“The government has again let our most vulnerable families and communities down; the reality is that the successive governments’ failures continue to drive our people further into poverty and denies the next generations a better future.” said, Mr Rod Little, co-chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
“The revolving door of prime ministers and Indigenous affairs ministers over the years and cuts of more than $500 million to Indigenous affairs in the 2014 federal budget have all had a devastating impact. Now, with the money for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy being diverted to legal fees to argue land right claims, just goes to show the government turning a blind eye to the issues impacting our peoples.”
Denounced by many Indigenous leaders as a paper tiger, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was established after extensive consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and leaders and has represented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at the federal level since 2010. The organisation claims to represent close to 10,000 individual members from across Australia as well as more than 180 peak and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
“Indigenous Minister of Aboriginal Apartheid Affairs”
“Just when many Aboriginals throughout the country thought the whitewashed tokenism divisive Native Title rip off scam could not get any worse, allegations have surfaced with regards to a Native Title inappropriate funding scandal involving 'ok to be white' unwanted British immigrant Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion,” comments a group called Boomerang Justice Returns 2.
“More appropriate would be the Indigenous Minister of Aboriginal Apartheid Affairs. The alleged conduct relating to Scullion is no surprise to many as Aboriginals, who have been swindled by colonial white supremacy authority figures since 1788, when it comes to country.
“Nigel Scullion gave Indigenous funding to his former fishing lobby group to fight land claims.
“Ironic, Nigel Scullion is reported to be in the process of amending Native Title for the betterment of all parties.
"More than likely the betterment outcomes will largely be for an unwanted unaccountable dishonourable hypocritical corrupt colonial white supremacy Government, its favoured powerful wealthy business associates and Scullion’s buddies he has reportedly helped to fight against Native Title claims, with funding allocated for the advancement of Aboriginals, the true black race 'traditional and rightful landowners' of the now stolen country.”
“Indigenous groups are calling for a full investigation into Nigel Scullion’s “totally inappropriate use of Aboriginal-earmarked funds,” writes Lorena Allam at Guardian Australia.
Descended from the Gamilaraay and Yawalaraay nations of north west NSW, Lorena Allam is the Guardian's indigenous affairs editor.
This compilation was distributed by WGAR News (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights)