Equality for First Nations People's of Australia
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Aboriginal people in out back remote communities are suffering the continued and after affects of the Government run program Work for the Dole. As most of these people are receiving less than $600 per fortnight the affects of breaching this program is enormous.
Being that the amount of people receiving Welfare Payments makes it very hard for some people to stretch the amount to fulfill their daily living expenses, especially if they are being breached and loosing up to $50 per fortnight.
In less remote communities Working for the Dole could in some instances lead to further Study or Employment but in more remote places there is no opportunities for anyone that is doing the program, people should not feel that they have to or need to leave there country communities that is a safe/family orientated place of living.
Nearly 55,000 fines were issued to Remote work for the Dole participants in just 3 months, this program covers about 35,000 people with the vast majority being Aboriginal, working three times longer then other people working on similar programs. But Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion rejects the claim that people can go hungry or be in poverty when being breached, well then Mr Scullion you come and work for your Dole and show your constituents how you survive on this payment with a breach.
Its been reported that 90% of those breached under this program were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, and that the Northern Territory recorded the most penalties in every other jurisdiction.
The solution that would benefit these communities is the old program called CDEP - Development Employment Projects, this program would work again remote communities by way of participants being giving their Dole payments plus an hourly rate for the 25 hrs a week they work, this in its self would encourage workers to join the program.
People in the program would benefit from work within their own communities doing jobs with providers that assist in helping the people as a whole,working with Trades People such as Builders, Electricians,Plumbers and other skilled workers, this type of work would give them satisfaction knowing they may get a trade and helping the community at the same time.
I ask that the Prime Minister and Aboriginal Affairs Minister look further into this program and make changes that benefits our communities and that doesn't hinder the progress with Closing The Gap.
I would challenge the Minster for Aboriginal Affairs Mr Scullion to partake in living on the amount of Welfare payments of less then $600 per fortnightly in a remote community. and deal with the consistent and outrageous prices of every day groceries in remote shops.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People's are now having children removed by the Welfare System in all states,at an alarming rate that has now exceeded the The Stolen Generations. This Government needs to put in place best practice programs engages with the families and communities so children are not removed on flimsy excuses by Child Protection Workers in Welfare.These children need to be placed with suitable family or in kin-ships placements. We understand that suitable carer's are in great demand, and we encourage this Government to bring the amount of ATSIPs in line with main stream participants.
We are disappointed that the new Basic's Welfare Card seems to target ATSIPs in Remote Regions when it was first trialed, our people find it hard to function financially when a percentage is held back to use only with the card. The problems that can and are arising with the card is the limited access to full payments, cash is needed for ie: Excursions,Clothing,Family Days Out,Loan Repayments,and any other specialty shops and so forth.
We challenge you both to partake in living on this card as some ATSIPs have/do in there communities,so that you can full appreciate it's impact on families and the broader community. These things that are detrimental to our self worth/spirituality/culture/dreaming are Not helping to Close The Gap for our Equality as First Nations People's.
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