Abbott and Scullion must go...


Join the call for Nigel Scullion and Tony Abbott to resign from their roles in Indigenous Affairs and put First Nations' affairs back in First Nations' hands.

By Widjabul woman Larissa - Last week, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion was forced to admit that he had siphoned off nearly half a million dollars in funds earmarked for Indigenous disadvantage to lobby groups to fight land claims, including one he used to chair.1

It's wrong, totally against the rules and a complete misuse of funds. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this is the final straw.

Report2 after report3 is showing the Indigenous Affairs portfolio is failing First Nations people. It's not just that the "solutions" aren't working, we have also lost previous gains we have made and are going backwards fast.

The men responsible? Nigel Scullion and then self-appointed "Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs" Tony Abbott.

For years, Scullion and Abbott have wreaked havoc in their roles in Indigenous Affairs – not only taking us backwards, but putting lives at risk.

Together, we need to stand up and demand that the Australian parliament puts First Nations' affairs in First Nations' hands.

Can you join the call for Nigel Scullion and Tony Abbott to resign from their roles in Indigenous Affairs and put First Nations' affairs back in First Nations' hands?

We've seen the damage Scullion and Abbott can do, refusing to consult4 with communities who are affected by their schemes or with peak First Nations' advocacy bodies.

They've slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from vital frontline services and Indigenous led programs.5 And refused to abolish disastrous policies such as the Community Development Programme, despite nationwide calls for this damaging work-for-the-dole scheme to be scrapped.6

They will not listen. The same week a report exposing the rising death toll of First Nations people in custody was released, Abbott declared his top priority would be school attendance.7

Days later Abbott turned up unannounced in Borroloola where he was met at the airport by Aboriginal leaders who told him to get out. They were angry their children were being used as a photo opportunity while their school provides a bilingual education and has one of the highest attendance rates across remote communities in the NT.8

This has gone on for too long. Bad government policies remove our dignity and cost lives. Scullion and Abbott don't represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and they don't deserve another chance.

It's time First Nations' affairs were in First Nations' hands.

In solidarity and determination,

Larissa for the GetUp team

Larissa is a Widjabul woman who leads all of GetUp's First Nations Justice work.


[1] 'Scullion under fire over grants', The Saturday Paper, 5 November 2018.

[2] 'Government asks for Indigenous help Closing the Gap after policy failures', NITV, 22 December 2017.

[3] 'Government's Indigenous budget strategy blasted for failures and hundreds of millions to non-Indigenous organisations', NITV, 7 May 2018.

[4] 'Nigel Scullion says Indigenous voice to parliament 'would not fly' with voters', The Guardian, 27 October 2017.

[5] 'WA's remote families left in limbo as ministers trade insults over housing cash', ABC News, 27 August 2018.

[6] 'Nigel Scullion defends 'harmful' Indigenous work-for-the-dole program', The Guardian, 4 October 2016.

[7] 'Abbott's Indigenous envoy focus on school attendance 'outdated', SBS, 20 August 2018.

[8] 'Borroloola 'photo opportunity' turns out badly for Abbott', SBS, 1 October 2018.

GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations.

Our team acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work. We wish to pay respect to Elders - past, present and emerging - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.
Authorised by Paul Oosting, GetUp Ltd, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.


Commenting has now closed on this article.

The Indymedia Network

Latin America
United States
East Asia
South Asia
West Asia