Amnesty International welcomes today's joint renewed commitment between the Federal and Northern Territory Governments to invest $221 million over ten years for the provisions of basic essential and municipal services to remote outstations.
This announcement indicates that both levels of Government have listened to the concerns of Aboriginal Peoples living on homelands.
The human rights organisation hopes this announcement represents a genuine recognition of traditional homelands. It is also hoped that this leads to a new collaborative era between the two governments and Aboriginal homeland communities.
Amnesty International calls for this renewed commitment to translate into a genuine partnership with the communities living on their ancestral lands. The two governments need to work alongside homeland communities to identify longterm solutions to ensure their viability.
Over twenty years of research confirm Aboriginal Peoples on homelands are able to maintain their cultural identity, are healthier and live longer.
The inquiry into the Stronger Futures legislation heard overwhelming evidence of concern from Aboriginal Peoples wanting to stay on their traditional homelands.
Amnesty International has outlined the extreme disparity in funding between homelands which support 35 percent of Aboriginal Peoples in the Northern Territory and Growth Towns. The vast majority of government spending in the Northern Territory continues to only be allocated to people living in Growth Towns which only make up 24 percent of the Aboriginal population.
Amnesty International continues to call for the two Governments to implement an overarching plan for homelands to be adequately funded in the upcoming Federal Budget and for any levels of funding for Aboriginal affairs in the Northern Territory to be equitably dispersed to reflect where Aboriginal people actually live.