Minister Vanstone rejects Catholic criticism of Indigenous deals

Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone has hit back at suggestions from the Broome Diocese that shared responsibility agreements with Aboriginal communities are merely "window dressing".

CathNews reproted yesterday that Diocese's Office for Justice Ecology and Peace had welcomed her decision to take time to visit remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley to listen to the views of local people, but criticised the shared responsibility agreements.

"While Senator Vanstone is making an announcement about the provision of a pool in the Warmun community, the residents in that community continue to suffer from the lack of appropriate housing and frequent breakdowns in the supply of water and power," said the Office's Br Shane Wood.

The ABC reports that Senator Vanstone is returning from a three-day trip to the Kimberley where she announced new agreements, including two new swimming pools in Bidyadanga and Warmun.

Senator Vanstone said the Church does not have a monopoly on what is best for Indigenous Australians.

"They've had experience of running missions that hasn't always turned out as they would have wanted," she said. "There's a whole variety of areas where the church's experience hasn't been that positive.

"If the church is worried about education levels and housing, they should be directing their remarks to Carol Martin, the local member."

Vanstone rejects church criticism of Indigenous deals (ABC News 3/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Shared Responsibility Agreements (Australian Government Indigenous Portal)

Kimberley Catholic welcome for Senator Amanda Vanstone (CathNews 3/8/05)

Minister's shared agreements raise concern within Indigenous community (ABC News 3/8/05)
Vanstone to sign Shared Responsibility Agreements with Kimberley Indigenous Communities (ABC Message Stick 3/8/05)
Local MP tells Federal Govt to fix basics in communities (ABC News 1/8/05)
Vanstone claims positive response to Indigenous deals (ABC News 1/8/05)
Vanstone Praises Partnerships for Change in Indigenous Communities (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - Media Release 2/8/05)

4 Aug 2005