Hundreds of millions of dollars have been allocated towards First Nations health, housing, justice and an Indigenous Voice in this year’s Federal budget despite a worsening global economic outlook.
Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the latest budget on Tuesday evening in time he warned was full of “great challenge and change.
$314 over five years million has been set aside for Indigenous health initiatives, just over half of which will go towards investing in modern health clinics in areas with large or growing Indigenous populations.
Five hundred First Nations health workers will receive training in primary health care and $45 million will go towards buying 30 new dialysis units for people with end-stage kidney disease.
In housing the federal government has reached a deal with the Northern Territory government to fortify homeland communities which will see the NT receive $100 million towards housing and essential infrastructure in those communities.
Just under $100 million has been set aside for First Nations justice projects such as community led initiatives and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services to help families get legal assistance during coronial inquiries.
In the environment the Indigenous Protected Areas program, which supports Traditional Owners to manage country, has been extended for a further five years and ten new areas are planned to be created by 2028.
A Torres Strait Climate Change Centre of Excellence will be created using $15.9 million over the next four years to help the region’s communities mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
The Labor government is delivering on its key election commitment to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament with $75 million set aside for work on a referendum.
About two-thirds of that will go to the Australian Electoral Commission, National Indigenous Australians Agency, the Department of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department over the next two years.
$5.8 million has been put aside over the next three years to begin work on a Makarrata Commission, the body that would oversee treaty-making and truth-telling processes.