Oct 06, 2011

Aboriginals of Australia: Communities Demand Consultation on Income Management Scheme

Canberra’s attempts to institute an individual welfare management system for communities in Northwest Australia have been stalled due to lack of indigenous consultation.  Community leaders argue that such a system will not properly function if indigenous needs are not heavily featured in its operation.

Below is an article released by ABC News:

A Centrelink team is helping some people manage their welfare payments in the APY Lands and the timing of payments has been changed.

Federal Opposition frontbencher Kevin Andrews has visited the area and says the APY Women's Council and other community leaders support a compulsory income management scheme and there is no excuse for delaying one.

"These have been issues that have been raised with both the Federal and the State Government in particular for well over a year now and they should just, as I said, stop the bickering, make a decision, introduce it and then with the community ensure that they have a proper evaluation of it," he said.

But Chris Malcolm from the APY Council says any form of income management will fail unless communities are consulted about their needs.

"Until that process is undertaken, things aren't going to make a difference or improve," he said.

"So this is a call to governments, both governments, and anybody else that's listening to say that Anangu need a voice at the table to construct their own programs.

"Experience has shown that policy made in isolation to the stakeholders or in absence of the stakeholders has failed."