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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 29 November 2018) . . Page.. 5055 ..


ACT government directorates in improving life outcomes for members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Its membership includes the directors-general of all ACT government directorates, the ACT Chief Police Officer and the chair of the elected body.

An inter-directorate committee has also been established as a consultative forum focused on enhancing collaboration and coordination. This committee is tasked with the development of agreed actions and outcomes for the agreement, based on community-identified priorities. Of course, all directorates will continue to be held to account by the elected body. Members of the elected body each shadow a directorate and meet regularly with its director-general, in addition to the public accountability that is embodied in the annual hearings process.

I conclude by thanking the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body for its tireless work in supporting each directorate to improve its services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT and, in particular, for the significant consultation it has undertaken and the work its members have done in developing the new agreement. I greatly appreciate the advice I receive from the elected body and the commitment all members show to representing their community as an elected voice to the ACT government and the Assembly. I present a copy of the following papers:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2015-2018—Annual Report 2018—Ministerial statement, 29 November 2018.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement—Annual Report 2018.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the papers.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (10.41): As shadow minister for Indigenous affairs, I thank Minister Stephen-Smith for tabling these important documents today, although I note that it is the last sitting day of the year, which makes scrutinising the documents difficult. Nonetheless, the Canberra Liberals look forward to seeing the details within both the annual report and the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agreement.

Sadly, I have had correspondence and discussion with community members who are concerned about the processes to this point. I am also concerned that the new agreement will be put in place for 10 years when the government has failed to deliver against the previous agreement that was in place for just four years. Why am I concerned? Well, the Labor government have had 18 years in this place to fix Indigenous affairs. They have had 18 years to implement policies and solutions. They have had 18 years to work towards better outcomes for Indigenous Canberrans and they have failed.

Let us keep in mind, too, that the ACT has a relatively small, urban population. We do not face the challenges of other jurisdictions in terms of remote or rural communities. I do not like to talk in terms of deficit—I know some great things are happening out there in the community—but at the same time I will not allow this government to hide behind the nice words and glossy brochures.


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