2019-20 Budget delivers record funding for Indigenous Australians

Release Date: 
4 April 2019
Media release

The Coalition Government has delivered a stronger economy that ensures we can make record investments in services and opportunities for First Australians.

The 2019-20 Budget includes measures across many Departments that delivers record investments into health, safety, education and employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

For the first time in a decade the budget will be back in surplus and we are investing the dividends of our strong budget management to make lives better for First Australians.

“This Budget focusses on empowering communities and through job creation, through education and by continuing to deliver the services that keep communities safe, healthy and culturally prosperous. 

“The Government’s investments announced in the Budget ensure Indigenous Australians can seize the opportunities we are creating for all Australians from a stronger economy.”

The budget continues the Coalition Government’s efforts to invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to deliver services for their communities. Since coming to government we have doubled the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers from 30 per cent to 60 per cent.

The cross-portfolio investment in initiatives to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians include:

  • The continued investment of $5.2 billion in the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS).
  • An additional $5.3 billion to support more than 224,000 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students through the Indigenous loading component of our schools funding package (to 2029).
  • $1 billion for Indigenous health through the Department of Health.
  • $37.5 million to support better housing for residents of remote Indigenous communities in South Australia.
  • $276.5 million for the Indigenous Youth Education Package to give more Indigenous students the support and mentoring they need through their secondary studies.
  • $35 million to support initiatives to address drivers of violence under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
  • $2.5 million for the eSafety Commissioner as part of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.The eSafety Commissioner will work with and assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in communities across Australia to identify, report and protect themselves and their children form technology-facilitated abuse.
  • $5 million towards regionally specific Indigenous Suicide Prevention Initiatives that are tailored to the needs of each community and led by local Indigenous Youth leaders.
  • $35 million contribution to support securing tourism and jobs in Kakadu in Jabiru.
  • $7.3 million to undertake a co-design process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to detail options for Constitutional Recognition and a Voice to Parliament.
  • $62.4 million over four years under the Skills Package to support participation in the labour market with VET,language, literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy skills assistance in remote communities.
  • $36.4 million over five years for extending the Family Tax Benefit to families of ABSTUDY recipients aged 16 and over who study away from home.
  • A $45.4 million commitment by the Commonwealth over four years for the Barkly Regional Deal to deliver a suite of short, medium and long-term initiatives to support economic and social development in the Barkly region.
  • Regional deals in Hinkler, Albury/Wodonga and Adelaide will pursue opportunities for Indigenous Businesses and employment.
  • Legal Assistance Package – annual increases to baseline funding for Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services with a single National Mechanism to be developed by the end of 2019.
  • $5 million for getting kids to school through working community by community and school by school to invest in remote and very remote areas for projects that support and promote school attendance.

The $5.2 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy includes targeted programmes and activities to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians can take advantage of the opportunities the economy is creating. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy delivers on the ground funding in partnership with communities, ensuring children are attending school, adults are in employment and communities are safe.

The $200 million Indigenous Youth Education Package includes initiatives to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students. The package will fund additional secondary school scholarships and residential support for students who move away from home to study, and more student support through academy and mentoring projects. 

Additionally, the Government is supercharging growth in the Indigenous business sector by expanding the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) by introducing a new 3 per cent value target for all Commonwealth contracts to be awarded to Indigenous business within the next decade. The IPP has resulted in more than $1.83 billion in contracts to more than 1,470 Indigenous companies since it was created in 2015. In contrast fewer than 30 Indigenous companies won a paltry $6.2 million worth of contracts across the Australian Government in the 2012-13 financial year. 

Through the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy we are already delivering the $90 million Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund, $27 million for the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Capital Scheme, $55 million for the Business Development Assistance Program, $21 million for additional microfinance as well as a $20 million Performance Bond Facility.

Through our commitments to housing, better services,reducing the incidents of family and domestic violence,empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, driving investment in the Indigenous businesses, all through deeper engagement and more local decision making, we are delivering a better future for First Australians.