It has been a decade today since the Howard Government started the Northern Territory Intervention, the Government should finally concede is it a failure and discontinue funding, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“A decade of policy that has not delivered outcomes, yet the Government is funding it for another two years.
“Public funds on a measure that has been evidenced in its evaluations to fail in its objectives. This money could have been spent on wrap-around services and measures that are evidenced to work.
“Even the Royal Commission into youth detention provided evidence this week that the Intervention has been a failure, citing a dramatic increase of alleged child abuse to the Department of Territory Families. The escalating rates of children going into out of home care and of Aboriginal incarceration further highlight the policy failure.
“Income management as part of the Intervention has been monumentally expensive. $1.3 billion has been spent on income management nationwide since the start of the intervention when you include the forward costs, a huge part of that sits within the Northern Territory.
“Managing someone’s income is paternalistic and makes things worse for people struggling to get by. In removing autonomy you disempower them and do not address disadvantage.
“On this day, I strongly urge the Government to go back to the drawing board and halt the Northern Territory Intervention.
“Our First Peoples have been saying from the start that this would not work, and have offered alternative solutions to reducing disadvantage. It is time the Government listened.”