Albanese Government delivers landmark first nations justice investment
The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians
The Hon Linda Burney MP
Joint media release
The Albanese Government’s first Budget delivers a historic funding commitment aimed at Closing the Gap and improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney today jointly announced a First Nations Justice package worth a record $99 million.
Existing justice reinvestment programs have a proven record of reduced incarceration, reduced crime and reduced recidivism.
- $81.5 million to invest in up to 30 community-led justice reinvestment initiatives across Australia and establish an independent national justice reinvestment unit as recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission, the largest funding package in justice reinvestment ever committed by the Commonwealth;
- $13.5 million in additional funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) to increase its capacity to provide culturally appropriate legal assistance in coronial inquiries;
- $1 million to build greater capacity in the peak body, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) to provide leadership across the Indigenous legal sector; and
- $3 million to support the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum, and the FVPLS providers who deliver legal assistance and non-legal support to victim-survivors of family and domestic violence and sexual assault.
More than 30 years after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, rates of incarceration and the number of deaths in custody of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a national shame.
The Albanese Government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve better justice outcomes, in line with targets 10 and 11 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
The Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) and National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) will work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and State and Territory counterparts to ensure this support directly benefits those who need it.
These investments reinforce the aspirations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the Government’s commitment to the Referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution.
Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are tragically over-represented at every point in the justice system.
Turning the tide on the unacceptably high rate of incarceration and deaths in custody is a key priority of this package.
The voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are critical to achieving the justice targets under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP
This Government is committed to leading ongoing and meaningful change. This is why we are investing in justice reinvestment initiatives with up to 30 communities across Australia and increasing funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.
Justice reinvestment will need to be community-led and include holistic approaches to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people out of the criminal justice system.
These commitments will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to contribute to decisions that will benefit us and our communities.