A 'decision taken but not yet announced'
The release of the Government’s Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) statement confirms a one-off payment of $160 million for the referendum to recognise Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution.
The funding injection is noted as a ‘decision taken but not yet announced’ in the May Budget, according to PEFO papers.
It means the government had planned on spending the money but did not reveal it in this month’s Budget papers.
On Budget night earlier this month, the Attorney-General’s office said in a media release it had made a “provision in the Contingency Reserve of $160 million for the referendum”.
Budget Papers also revealed nearly $15 million in funding for the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council and the Recognise campaign to share.
It means since the creation of the Recognise campaign in 2013, nearly $200 million has been committed towards activism, policy and campaigning for the necessary referendum to change the Constitution.
The Prime Minister’s Referendum Council – which NITV’s Managing Editor Stan Grant sits on – revealed this month that community consultations on the referendum will begin in June.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told NITV in January that a 2017 referendum is “feasible”.
Video of the week
So when should Australians celebrate Australia Day? January 26? Nigena WA Labor candidate Tammy Solonec thinks it should be moved to Wattle Day (September 1).
Here’s what Ms Solonec, Labor senator Pat Dodson and Liberal frontbencher Ken Wyatt had to say.
Policy of the week
Labor has promised $8.4 million “to create more than 7000 new spots in the Stars Foundation mentoring program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls across Australia.”
Quote of the week
“I think Australia Day is fine. This is obviously … I’m sorry shipbuilding isn’t of much interest to you. Can I just say to you that Australia Day is fine.”
- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was asked about Australia Day as he tried to spruik shipbuilding in Perth.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says Labor’s commitments to reform the Aboriginal Benefits Account are “hollow” and “not worth the paper they are written on”.
The Northern Land Council accused Minister Scullion of using the ABA as a slush fund this week.
What’s been announced this week