SHADOW Indigenous Affairs Minister James Milligan has slammed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith for her “offensive” description of policy initiatives endorsed by the ACT indigenous community.
Mr Milligan is now calling on Ms Stephen-Smith to apologise after she called the initiative, which were developed by Canberra’s indigenous community, “fuzz” during debate in the ACT Legislative Assembly today (August 20).
Mr Milligan says Ms Stephen-Smith ridiculed the initiatives by labelling them “18 fuzzy ideas”.
He says the Canberra Liberals’ 18 initiatives to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were developed in consultation with members of the indigenous community and have been widely endorsed by indigenous organisations including Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Service.
“Far from fuzzy, these initiatives address serious government shortcomings across health, education, justice and more,” he says.
“After 18 years of Labor, outcomes for the ACT’s indigenous community have only deteriorated. To make it worse, the Barr government has stopped listening to the concerns repeatedly raised by leaders in the indigenous community.
“Ms Stephen-Smith should apologise to the indigenous community for her offensive remarks.”