Labor has called on the Berejiklian Government to stop cuts to AbSec, the peak Aboriginal run organisation working to improve the care, support and diversion of Aboriginal children from the out of home care system.
AbSec, which is based in Marrickville, has been told that Communities Minister Gareth Ward will cut over half of their funding of $5.7mil per year at the end of June.
Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill, said: "This is an offensive attack on the indigenous community in Marrickville, and bad news for families and children across NSW."
"Absec is an important local community group and an important local employer. Cutting their funding is short-sighted and insulting at a time when we should be reflecting on how to better support indigenous organisations working in out of home care.
Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Penny Sharpe said: “More support for Aboriginal organisations which look after children and young people in out of home care is needed, not less. The NSW Government must immediately guarantee that funding for AbSec will continue.”
“These cuts will mean that years of work by dedicated staff across NSW will be lost. Staff in regional NSW will lose their jobs and the work keeping families together and supporting children and young people in the care system will be gone”, Ms Sharpe said.
Key statistics about Aboriginal children and young people in care:
- 40% of children and young people in Out of Home Care in NSW are Aboriginal, despite Aboriginal kids only being 5% of the population.
- Aboriginal children and young people are ten times more likely to be in care compared to non Aboriginal children.
- The proportion of Aboriginal children and young people entering OOHC continues to increase compared to non Aboriginal kids.
- The number of Aboriginal children and young people reported as at risk of serious harm continues to increase while the number of kids and families receiving support decreases.
Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, David Harris said: “Sorry Day, the day that Australians pause to remember the Stolen Generations is this week. It is unconscionable that the NSW Government would be seeking to cut the funding of one of the organisations trying to keep Aboriginal children and young people out of care and with their families.”
“Gareth Ward is currently sitting on a damning report into the out of home care system for Aboriginal children and young people that makes 125 recommendations. Not one of those recommendations suggests cuts or organisations like AbSec. This decision must be reversed.” Ms Sharpe said