Member for Arnhem, Ms Larisa Lee, has called for the Northern Territory government to cut the rhetoric and instead demonstrate their commitment to Aboriginal people by appointing a Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
Aboriginal people make up 34% of the Northern Territory’s population and own 50% of the land, but Ms Lee said the Giles Government is treating them with disrespect by not creating a dedicated portfolio to deal with the many issues facing indigenous Australians today.
“Making Aboriginal Affairs a ministerial portfolio will ensure that money allocated for regional, remote and indigenous communities will be used for the delivery of essential services in those communities. At the moment this is not the case,” Ms Lee said.
“This demonstrates complete disregard for Aboriginal people by the Northern Territory government.
“Actions speak louder than words and the serious issues of health, housing and education are simply not being addressed.
“Senior Aboriginal women and men suffer from chronic ill health more often than other Territorians.
“Our young Aboriginal Australians are dying at an alarming rate and have the highest suicide ratio in Australia.
“It is time, through the appointment of a Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, to provide the tools, education and support to empower Aboriginal people to deliver outcomes that actually benefit us,” Ms Lee said.