The Albanese government has released its federal budget and announced the first surplus in 15 years.
The budget includes $1.9 billion in measures for Indigenous Australians which minister Linda Burney has said will make a “practical difference”.
One of they key focuses of the budget has been addressing the cost of living.
Cost of living measures include:
- An increase in payments for people on the Jobseeker, Youth Allowance or Austudy payments of $40 per fortnight
- Up to $500 towards energy bills for pensioners, veterans, concession card holders and people on government support payments
- Raising the cut-off age for people receiving the single parenting payment from eight to 14
- Families with children in child care will see relief with those earning less than $530,000 to see a raise in the subsidy. Families earning less than $80,000 will receive a 90 per cent subsidy, while families on more than $80,000 will see their subsidy progressively fall based on their income.
Among the measures specifically targeted at Indigenous communities:
- Cancer services for Indigenous people will get a $238.5 million boost
- $141.2 million for a prevention program targeted at smoking and vaping in Indigenous communities
- A dedicated action plan to improve Indigenous women’s safety and tackle family violence will receive $194 million over four years
- Regional and remote Indigenous community water infrastructure will get a $150 million upgrade over four years.
- Indigenous rangers will continue their work in reducing biosecurity risks across northern Australia, with $40.6 million going to programs.
- $155.9 million has been allocated over five years for Central Australia to improve school attendance, health, reduce crime and improve broadband and digital services.
- $364.6 million for the referendum to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution, including funding for the electoral commission, civics education and mental health support.
- The federal government will appoint an interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner, at a cost of $1.7 million.
- An increase of $10.5 million for more mental health supports for First Nations people during the referendum.