Some significant provisions in the Budget for First Peoples, and indigenous justice.
The budget includes a number of items targeted at improving Indigenous health and education outcomes as well as “a record $99 million invested in First Nations justice”.
Almost $315 million over five years has been pledged to support initiatives aimed at closing the gap for Indigenous Australians’ health and wellbeing, including:
- a $164.3 million investment in modern health clinics in areas with large and growing Indigenous communities
- $54.3 million to deliver up to 500 traineeships in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care
- $45 million for 30 new and upgraded dialysis units
- $22.5 million to build a Birthing on Country Centre of Excellence.
The funding for improved Indigenous justice outcomes will primarily go towards initiatives aimed at “addressing the underlying causes of incarceration” and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services.
The government will also spend more than $14 million over the forward estimates to support teaching First Nations language and culture in 60 primary schools.
And, of course, there’s $75.1 million put aside over the next two years for the referendum on enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the constitution. The vast majority of this amount ($52.6 million) will go to the Australian Electoral Commission and other agencies so they can start preparing.