There has been nothing but silence after The Australian revealed the NT Government kept over $2 billion of its Indigenous aid budget.
The scathing report from The Australian came at a time when all eyes were on the NT after a shocking case of child sexual abuse hit Tennant Creek. The NT is facing a mountain of problems right now. From Indigenous health to housing, unemployment to education. Indigenous communities really need all the help they can get. The situation is nothing short of a national disgrace.
While many people have their fingers pointed directly at Aboriginal communities, no one seems to be questioning the $2 billion of Indigenous funding that was taken out of Indigenous aid budgets by the NT Govt. Can you honestly say that problems would be so bad in these communities if the $2 billion was invested like it was supposed to be?
The report revealed that successive governments under-spent on allocated Indigenous and remote disadvantage GST funding. The total of under-spending has now reached around $2.2 billion dollars. In 2014, we saw outrage when Tony Abbott and Warren Mundine announced nationwide Indigenous budget cuts of over $500 million. Now it has been revealed that $2 billion was stripped secretly from some of the most disadvantaged Aboriginal communities and there is nothing but silence.
We can’t blame the public for not knowing about this as the only article about this story is behind a pay-wall on The Australian’s subscription based website. But other media throughout Australia have no excuse for ignoring this. What is really going on here? Is there going to be another military backed intervention in the NT? An intervention aided once again by Australia’s media that is only telling one side of the story?
We are facing an extremely concerning time right now. While some regions of Australia are talking about truth and reconciliation the NT government appear to be doing all they can to demonise, degrade and de-stabilise Indigenous communities. And while all this goes on, there are persistent fears of fracking and remote community closures.
If you’re feeling helpless as to what you can do, let’s start by sharing this story. At present, this is the only non-paywall article talking about the misuse of over $2 billion dollars. And let’s start putting pressure and questioning why other news sites aren’t reporting on both sides of the story in the Northern Territory.
This article was originally published on Welcome to Country.