Thursday, May 18, 2006
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DOESN'T CARE THAT INDIGENOUS DIE 17 YEARS EARLIER THAN WHITE AUSTRALIANS
According to Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) the conservative Howard Government has squandered a unique opportunity to end Australia’s Indigenous health crisis with the release of its 2006 budget, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) said tonight.
ANTaR National Director, Gary Highland said the modest increase of around $25 million in Aboriginal health spending next year would do little to close the 17 year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
“Research by Access Economics for the Australian Medical Association has indicated that an additional $400 million per year is needed to tackle this problem,” Highland said. Highland added the $1.6 billion required over the next four years to overcome the Indigenous health shortfall was a fraction of the $37 billion in tax cuts to be handed out during this time.
“It appears this Government is prepared to continue letting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children die seventeen years before their non-Indigenous counterparts," Highland said.
This related story comes from the Australia Broadcasting Corporation.
Tennant Creek residents plan strike over Indigenous services
People in the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek are preparing to go on strike next week, in a bid to get the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister to come and see them.
Local service station owner Richard Dodd says Indigenous health and housing standards are close to the worst he has seen them in 28 years.
He says the town's demographics are compounding the problems.
"There is not enough in place in town to help the youth of this town," he said.
"Someone gave me the statistics the other day that we have got the largest, the youngest population in Australia in this area, so we're not, haven't got means in this town to handle that."