MEDIA RELEASE: LARRAKIA – A NATION THAT SUPPORTS ALL NATIONS WHY WON’T YOU SUPPORT THEM SENATOR SCULLION

February 17, 2017

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion must open his doors to Larrakia Nation and work with the organisation and its members to ensure vital services continue to be delivered to the Darwin community.

Larrakia Nation has been trying to meet with Senator Scullion to talk about the organisation’s imminent closure with no response.

It’s disgraceful the Minister will not meet to discuss the future of an Indigenous organisation that operates in his backyard.

It’s even more disgraceful that Larrakia Nation could close in two weeks and more than 60 workers could lose their jobs because of issues with a Federal Government bureaucracy.

Larrakia Nation has been working hard to resolve its financial issues since it entered voluntary special administration in June. It has reduced its debts significantly and strengthened governance and management processes.

But issues with Centrelink’s Centrepay system, that clients of the Return to Country program use to pay their fares in instalments, has left a nearly $500,000 hole that may force the organisation to close.

As well as Return to Country services, Larrakia Nation run 11 successful programs including Aged Care, Tenancy Support, Aboriginal Ranger programs and Night Patrol in the Darwin region. These services are all under threat.

Larrakia Night Patrol services worked with 10,000 clients last year with demand continuing to grow. We don’t want to imagine a Darwin without Larrakia Nation and the services it delivers.

We call on Minister Scullion to do his job, meet with Larrakia Nation and work with his Ministerial colleagues to make sure Centrelink recovers the money owed to Larrakia Nation.