Scullion to spend $40m to find out what $1b achieved


p2373-nigel-scullion-okCOMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA
“The IAS has already greatly improved the transparency and accountability of Indigenous Affairs funding.”
So says Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, the NT’s Senator who sits with the National Party in the Australian Parliament.
His quote about the Indigenous Advancement Strategy must be an example of the good Senator’s admirable sense of humour: The Australian National Audit Office is declaring the IAS a billion dollar dog’s breakfast.
The Alice Springs News Online has investigated and reported on a string of work-for-the-dole programs in Central Australia, most recently those run by CatholicCare and My Pathways. They are financed by Commonwealth agencies and the buck stopping with Senator Scullion.
The lavishly funded providers are far from “transparent and accountable” with neither they nor Senator Scullion providing answers to detailed questions from us.
“The Audit Office’s finding that the department’s grants administration processes fell far short of the standard required to effectively manage a billion dollars of Federal resource is consistent with the findings my report Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze, which documented that billions of dollars were being wasted on Indigenous programs due to a lack of evaluation and accountability,” says Sara Hudson, from the Centre for Independent Studies.
“My research found only 8% (88) of 1,082 programs had been evaluated.
“This finding was further corroborated by the release of the Productivity Commission’s report in November last year, which found that of the thousands of Indigenous programs funded by government, only 24 had been rigorously evaluated.”
Questions from the News to CatholicCare and My Pathway were precisely about evaluation. We were fobbed off, with Senator Scullion’s acquiescence.
Senator Scullion is now trying to fix the problem the only way he apparently knows how, namely throwing more taxpayer’s money at it: $40m over four years “to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous Affairs programmes”.


  1. All Canberra centric with clueless people having no idea of the true situation of Aboriginal affairs.
    It seems Scullion is not on top of it with that lot calling the shots and having more control than Scullion has.
    Aboriginal organisations are being quietly disempowered into non existence by Canberra.
    Except the big ones we know who hardly do much for Aboriginal people other than build their own empire.

  2. How many art galleries do they want? It is becoming boring. The money would be better spend in a million other ways.

  3. Throwing more money into Indigenous affairs is a total waste of tax payers’ money. If the Indigenous were serious about theselves why are they not spending their royalty monies on improving themselves and way of living instead of cars, booze and anything but?
    Why is everything so secretive when it come to Indigenous affairs? Is there something to hide? Or is it because if the outside world really get to know what is happening they may lose the sympathy for people “living in poverty”. That’s a joke in itself. They receive more money and attention than I do.

  4. Seems Nigel needs to come clean: $40m to his buddy Forrest with no questions asked or outcomes required. $5m to an Order of Australia recipient for training Aboriginals with no requirement for outcome.
    Stripping of funding from Aboriginal organistaions to give it to his CLP buddies in the Territory, services no longer being delivered or very poorly delivered but again no requirments to perform.
    Amazing, all one needs to do is look very closely and one will see where taxpayers’ money has gone.
    And by the way, not all Aboriginal communities receive royalties and the ones that do have money going into funds for the benefit of all Aboriginal people.
    Looks like Scullion andCco have taught Trump how to come up with fake news to hide the real truth.
    [ED – We are inviting comment from Senator Scullion.]

  5. Poor Nigel! He is the one with all the answers like a little boy who is still looking for the real answers to civilise the Aborigines to his perceived definition of compliant good citizens.
    Has he ever asked the Aborigines why they complain and what will fix it?
    Does he understand the broadness of the “Dreaming” (Altjeringa) as the spiritual, legal, cultural and driving force which must become syncretic into the future?

  6. The money from mining is royalty money which Centercorp invests for them without their knowledge or approval.
    Look up “Warlpiri Cattle Pty Ltd” on ASIC (the security commission) with its registered secretary in 92 Greenslopes St, Cairns (by address) and see the places such Aboriginal mining royalty money is spent.

  7. $40m to find out where the money has been spent!
    C’mon Scullion, get out of your office and talk to a few on the street and you will find out real easy where it has gone (you may also be told where to go) plus have in excess of $39m to spend where it is needed.


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