Media Statement: June 27 2024



Findings from the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee demonstrated that the Albanese government has fallen asleep at the wheel.

When questioned by Senator Nampijinpa Price, representatives from the National Indigenous Australians Agency confirmed that funding is being given to embroiled North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, and an audit for possible misuse of funding is currently being conducted. “This calls into question the performance of Linda Burney as Minister for Indigenous Australians given her oversight for the activities and programs administered by NAAJA” said Senator Nampijinpa Price.

Questioning of the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations by Senator Nampijinpa Price in Senate Estimates on 7 June 2024 revealed that convictions for domestic or family violence do not disqualify or make a person ineligible to sit on one of its boards.

Senator Nampijinpa Price said the finding “confirms the consistent standard of low expectations this government applies to Indigenous Australians.”

“We’ve seen domestic violence perpetrators on the board of Tangentyere Council, again with the board of NAAJA, and there has been no suggestion by the government that they intend, for example through the oversight of ORIC, to prevent these situations from happening in the future,” Senator Nampijinpa Price said. “In fact, Mr Woodbury who plead guilty to domestic violence charges remains the current sitting chairman of NAAJA’s board.”

“The situation is made worse by the fact that both of these corporations are supposed to be working for the betterment of Indigenous Australians who we know suffer from some of the highest rates of domestic and family violence in the country,” said Senator Nampijinpa Price.

“At best the government has been sorely negligent, but at the worst, they are intentionally ignoring the problem because they’re too scared to apply the same standards to Indigenous people that we expect of all other Australians.”

Further revelations resulting from questioning by Senator Nampijinpa Price, the National Indigenous Australians Agency confirmed they had been required to put a surge team in place to process the grant applications made under the Aboriginal Benefits Account Homelands project. This is in addition to Estimates findings earlier this month that the Integrity Unit of the NIAA is currently undertaking an investigation into all four Land Councils. “These measures that the NIAA put in place raise serious concerns about their performance and their ability to adequately manage the work and organisations they oversee,” Senator Nampijinpa Price said.

In addition to concerns about the government’s competency, Senator Nampijinpa Price also uncovered that the government is not being honest about their centrepiece Northern Territory Remote Housing Agreement.

“$494.7 million of the $839.4 million announced by the government is actually just redirected money. This is nothing but an attempt by this government to look good to the public while failing to deliver in places where funding is needed most,” said Senator Nampijinpa Price.



Media Contact: Rebekah Hart - 0459 893 181