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Record Spend on Indigenous Programs in NSW

 ‘Regeneration’ by Josie Rose 2020

A record $1.1 billion is being invested in Indigenous programs, services and initiatives this financial year, with New South Wales today becoming the first state to publish its own Interim Indigenous Expenditure Report (IER). 

The Interim IER maps and tracks the State’s current financial commitment to Indigenous-specific programs and services across government. It will inform future policy decisions and the allocation of funds.

Treasurer Matt Kean said spending on Indigenous initiatives is up 18.9 per cent on the previous financial year, with the NSW Government focused on delivering improved programs and services for First Nations people.

“I know we’ve still got a long way to go to close the gap, but the NSW Government is proud to be working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create better outcomes for communities right across the state,” Mr Kean said.

“Initiatives delivered in partnership with or by an Aboriginal-led organisation ensure their voices are heard and their interests are well represented.

“The NSW Government is meeting its national Closing the Gap commitment to review and identify current spending on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs, and identify opportunities to reprioritise funding to Aboriginal led organisations.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said the report highlights the success of programs such as the Roads to Home Program, which provides access to critical infrastructure and services for Aboriginal communities across NSW.

“Roads to Home is empowering communities by working alongside 18 local Aboriginal Land Councils in NSW to improve infrastructure and promote economic opportunities,” Mr Harwin said. 

“This first phase of the Indigenous Expenditure Report will assist us in building up the community-controlled sector which is improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW.” 

The largest spend categories in the Interim IER include:  

  • Infrastructure: $316.6 million in 2021-22, including $269.2 million for the Aboriginal Housing Office;
  • Crisis services: $151 million in 2021-22, including $141.1 million for targeted Out of Home Care Services; and
  • Education: $144.4 million in 2021-22, including $108 million for the Aboriginal Equity Background Loading; and
  • Health: $109 million in 2021-22, with $53.3 million delivered by the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector.

Read the full Interim Indigenous Expenditure Report here: