The Morrison Government is investing in new services and initiatives to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have sustained economic and social opportunities as part of our economic recovery plan for Australia.

The Government is also ensuring that the challenges from COVID-19 do not slow down progress towards improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said the Government is reforming the way it works with and for Indigenous Australians, focusing on partnerships and shared decision making to better target investments.

“The 2020-21 Budget continues the Government’s commitment to co-designing the solutions that will positively impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Wyatt said.

The Government is rebuilding our economy by stimulating regional economic activity by ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people secure appropriate, affordable housing that is aligned with their priorities and needs. This will also contribute to Closing the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous Business Australia will receive an additional investment of $150 million over three years to deliver 360 home loans for new housing construction in regional Australia.

The extension of Indigenous Business Australia’s Indigenous Home Ownership Programme will support over 1,000 jobs by unlocking financing for shovel-ready construction projects in regional Australia and increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in appropriately sized housing.

The Government is also fulfilling one of its election commitments by finalising the agreement with the Queensland Government to deliver better housing for Indigenous people.

The 2020-21 Budget reaffirms the Government’s commitment to supporting the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The Government will enhance the next phase of Closing the Gap with an investment of $46.5 million over four years to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations build their capacity and business models.

The Government is also continuing the Return of Cultural Heritage initiative by investing $10.1 million over four years for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to secure the return of more cultural heritage to traditional owners and custodians.

The recently announced Murray-Darling Basin Package includes $3.1 million to create four new Indigenous River Ranger groups to care for Country which will bring Indigenous knowledge and connection to country to support water and natural resource management activities within the Basin.

The Government is providing $39.8 million over four years for the Clontarf Foundation, including $7.6 million through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy for 2,000 extra scholarships on top of the 10,500 scholarships currently offered under existing arrangements. This new funding provides immediate support for additional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

In addition to these measures, the July Economic and Fiscal Update included $19.8 million to support Indigenous Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic and through the recovery phase. This funding included support to three Commonwealth wholly-owned Indigenous subsidiaries that have been severely impacted in 2020 and funding to support jurisdictions with the cost of implementing COVID-19 related travel restrictions to remote communities.

The Government is also continuing its commitment to the $5.4 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy. This will see work continuing on projects to reduce the rates of Indigenous incarceration, youth suicide, family and domestic violence as well as improving the health, safety, wellbeing, education, employment and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Budget demonstrates that the Coalition Government is supporting Indigenous Australians through the COVID-19 pandemic and is working closely with Indigenous communities to invest in local priorities.

The Government believes in working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to make local decisions and give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities the support needed to deliver better life outcomes for Indigenous Australians.