The Commonwealth Government’s intention to withdraw the funding of municipal and essential services on remote and regional South Australian Aboriginal homelands represents a failure in its responsibility for the safety and future of Aboriginal Peoples from Outstations/Homelands.
The withdrawal of this funding could see 60 discrete communities forced to close. As a result, an estimated 4,500 people will be denied the ability to stay in touch with their land and their culture and create a wave of dispossession across the State.
We believe the intended withdrawal of funding appears to show a lack of understanding of what the forced community closures will mean to the people whose social, mental, spiritual and physical lives will be directly impacted by the decision.
Consideration also needs to be given to how the forced migration of people from their traditional homelands to the city and regional areas will create significant pressure on South Australian social services such as housing, education, health and community relationships.
AnglicareSA calls on the Commonwealth Government to discuss their intended withdrawal of funding with the South Australian Government and seek alternative solutions that will enable Aboriginal communities to remain in their traditional areas and be sustained in the future.
Peter Sandeman, Chief Executive Officer and Sonia Waters, Director Aboriginal Services.