First Nations

Starting with our commitment to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, an Albanese Labor Government will renew our national commitment to Reconciliation and work in genuine partnership with First Nations people for better outcomes. 

A Labor Government will: 

  • Implement the Uluru Statement in full – Voice, Treaty and Truth. 
  • Work towards Closing the Gap. 
  • Abolish the punitive Community Development Program. 
  • Turn the tide on incarceration and deaths in custody through landmark justice reinvestment funding. 
  • Improve housing in remote Indigenous communities. 
  • Invest in First Nations management of land and waters. 
  • Strengthen First Nations economic and job opportunities. 
  • Get rid of the privatised Cashless Debit Card.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was generous offer of a genuine partnership, and a real chance for us to create a reconciled Australia. It calls for Voice, Treaty and Truth. Labor is the only party to support it in full. 

We will progress a referendum to constitutionally enshrine a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution as a matter of priority. We will also establish a Makarrata Commission to work with the Voice to Parliament on a national process for Treaty and Truth-telling.

Labor established the first Closing the Gap framework in 2008. We will work with the Coalition of Peaks and all levels of government to raise ambitions and ensure sustained progress on the current National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Our Justice Reinvestment commitment will begin to turn the tide on incarceration and deaths in custody. Tragically, over 500 First Nations Australians have died in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody more than 30 years ago.  Up to 30 communities will be able to establish locally tailored justice reinvestment initiatives, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services will receive critical funding to represent families in coronial inquests.  

Labor will scrap the Community Development Program. The government’s CDP is punitive and it has failed. It has caused real harm to communities across the North. Labor will replace it with a new program with real jobs, proper wages and decent conditions – developed in partnership with First Nations People. 

Labor recognises that improving the condition and safety of housing in remote communities is essential for people and communities to thrive. We will fund housing improvements, maintenance and repairs in remote indigenous communities.

Labor will invest in First Nations’ conservation of our land and waters by doubling the Indigenous Rangers program, boosting funding for Indigenous Protected Areas by $10 million a year, and delivering the promised cultural water in the Murray Darling Basin. 

We will strengthen economic and job opportunities for First Nations people and communities through a new public sector employment target and public reporting in Australia’s 200 largest companies.  

We will strengthen protection of First Nations intellectual property, combatting the unconscionable market in fake art and reaffirming the importance of Indigenous rights in future international trade agreements. 

Labor will abolish the discriminatory Cashless Debit Card and instead support First Nations communities to make their own decisions about the way forward.

Labor will place the experience of First Nations at the heart of our diplomacy by implementing a First Nations Foreign Policy that incorporates First Nations identities, perspectives and practices into Australia’s overseas engagement. We will establish an Office of First Nations Engagement headed by an Ambassador for First Nations Peoples within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to lead systematic engagement with First Nations communities and leaders and embed First Nations perspectives in Australia’s international diplomacy.

You can find the full details of Labor's policies in Labor's Commitment to First Nations People.

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