• Opposition leader Bill Shorten delivers the 2017 Budget reply speech. (AAP)Source: AAP
In Labor's official response to the 2017 federal budget, opposition leader, Bill Shorten, has taken aim at the Coalition’s decision to further strip funding from the Indigenous sector and pledged that Labor would do more for First Nations people.
Ryan Liddle

12 May 2017 - 5:43 PM  UPDATED 12 May 2017 - 5:43 PM

The Coalition’s newly released budget was seen as an opportunity to reset the agenda with working Australians. Since its release on Tuesday, the budget has drawn criticism for an apparent mainstream approach to Indigenous affairs.

Labor leader Bill Shorten echoed these concerns and says his party would do more.

"A Labor budget would close the gap, not cut 500 million dollars from Indigenous services," he said.

“Inequality has widened, this budget is an admission of guilt.”

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The theme of Labor's response centred on supporting those most vulnerable; those on little to no income.

In last night’s address, Mr Turnbull said he could confirm “Labor will oppose the Liberal cuts to Universities, the increase to student fees, the change to the repayment threshold that threatens women, Indigenous Australians and the low paid the hardest.”

The leader of the opposition not only confirmed Turnbull’s pre-emptive comments, he also threw his party's support behind the work undertaken by Indigenous land and sea Ranger programs.

"As Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, I am pleased to announce that we will double the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rangers.

“I, like many here, have seen the pride that comes from wearing the Ranger uniform. People working for this country, on their country and their waters, combining the latest in environmental science with their traditional knowledge. These Rangers benefit the environment; tourism and develop new enterprises. It's a privilege to support their work."

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