Natasha Fyles said today it was inconceivable that CLP Senator Nigel Scullion has cut funding from a volatile substance and alcohol and drug outreach service, putting young people at further risk, and the NT Government is missing in action.
“The Inhalants, Volatile Substances and Drug and Alcohol Town Community Program delivered by Amity Community Services, will cease from 30 June due to a $480,000 funding cut.
“This program provides an on-the-ground outreach support service to young people already engaged in or at risk of volatile substance misuse.”
“This is a key frontline service working hard to direct disadvantaged young people into treatment services and to get them re-engaged with their families, school or employment.
“This cut will see young people sniffing volatile substances fall through the cracks, risking their ongoing health and potentially their lives,” Ms Fyles said.
The program works with police, youth service providers and retailers to manage underlying volatile substance use and respond to sporadic increases in sniffing, including training retail staff on their rights and responsibilities in the sale of volatile substances.
The service also supports young people and adults with drug and alcohol problems living in Indigenous town communities, and was developed in response to the need to better ensure clients accessed support services.
This funding cut comes despite Nigel Scullion stating organisations funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy would be knocked back if they couldn’t demonstrate their programs have tangibly improved the lives of Aboriginal Australians.
The program employs four staff, including two Indigenous officers, now facing loss of employment.
“I call on Chief Minister Adam Giles to seek an urgent review of this decision,” Ms Fyles said.
Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241 211
Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie said today that Federal CLP funding cuts to indigenous organisations will set indigenous employment targets back and harm regional economies.
“Indigenous organisations, businesses and services that work with our communities are still assessing the impact of Senator Nigel Scullion’s IAS cuts," Ms Lawrie said.
Ms Lawrie called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to stand up for Territorians and fight to have cuts to programs reversed because early indications are that jobs are at risk.
“With Adam Giles' new-found awareness of Indigenous Affairs he must come clean and explain what jobs and support across the Territory will be lost under the Scullion knife," Ms Lawrie said.
“We’re hearing that there are cuts to Indigenous ranger and land management programs that have been an outstanding success story in creating employment and caring for country.
Ms Lawrie said that currently there are about 320 people delivering ranger programs across the Territory.
“Ranger groups provide confidence to traditional owners that land and sea management is being attended too and if ranger funding applications have been rejected the consequence would be dire,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Indigenous organisations throughout the Territory are today counting the cost of a CLP Senator wielding cuts to programs and a CLP Government in the Territory that has failed to stand up for them.”
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie has called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to explain why the CLP’s plan to develop Northern Australia includes a disgraceful pitch to compulsorily acquire Aboriginal land.
“Adam Giles has been vocal about his intentions to try to get CLP control of the Land Rights Act and now it appears plans to go down the shocking route of compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal land,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Adam Giles must explain why a version of the submission to the Federal Government about northern development talked about the NT having the power to compulsorily acquire Indigenous land.
“It's time for the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion to rule out the CLP bid to grab land from Indigenous Territorians," Ms Lawrie said.
“Or does he support the CLP in their bid to ride roughshod over the land rights Territorians have fought so hard to win?"
Ms Lawrie said the CLP has already lost the support of three Indigenous MLAs who have defected to the Palmer United Party and are under pressure with a litany of broken promises to the bush.
“Adam Giles should be planning how he is going to deliver his broken promises to the bush, improve housing, roads and access to services," Ms Lawrie said.
“Instead he is caught with a bid to strip away the hard-won land rights of Aboriginal Territorians.”
Media contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924