Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Income management - additional funding

Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Income management - additional funding

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Centrelink; Department of Human Services; Department of Finance and Deregulation

Key Elements

The Australian Government is providing $89.2 million to continue income management in 2009‑10 ahead of consultations and development of an income management model that is consistent with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA).

Background

Approximately 15,500 individuals residing in prescribed areas in the Northern Territory, who receive income support and family payments, currently have their income managed.

Preliminary evidence suggests that communities within the Northern Territory subject to income management have experienced substantial benefits. A number of sources have identified that income management is having a positive impact, particularly for women and children, by increasing financial security for families on welfare and ensuring that a proportion of certain welfare payments are directed towards food, shelter and other essential family commitments.

Many Indigenous women and pensioners have reported that they have greater control over their finances, and are more able to provide for children as a result of income management.  For this reason it is important that there is an orderly transition to a considered new policy consistent with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

As promised, the Government introduced legislation into Parliament on 18 March 2009 to ensure people subject to income management have access to the full range of appeal rights, including through the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Financial management support services are provided to customers whose income is managed in the Northern Territory to help build financial resilience through the provision of money management education and support and financial counselling.

Implementation

This measure will enable income management in Northern Territory prescribed communities to continue until 30 June 2010. In the meantime, in consultation with Indigenous communities, the Government will design a model of income management that does not require the suspension of the RDA. The Government will introduce legislation to lift the suspension of the RDA in the Spring 2009 sittings of Parliament.

Total Government Funding

$89.2 million for 2009-10.

Content Updated: 31 May 2012