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WA welfare trial announced

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Ms Jenny Macklin has today announced that the West Australian government will join with the federal government in imposing welfare payment management in selected Indigenous communities in and effort to combat parenting and behavioral issues.

As part of the trial, funding will be provided to establish parent responsibility teams to work with Centrelink in improving parenting where children have being neglected or were at risk of abuse.

The announcement follows a scathing report into the deaths of 22 Aboriginal people by WA coroner Alistair Hope.

Hope has said there was no real leadership, co-ordination or accountability in response to the disaster of appalling Aboriginal living conditions by either the WA or commonwealth governments.

Ms Macklin said the government would use existing legislative authority for the trial, which would be part of the national child protection framework.

She also supported the extension of alcohol restrictions across the Kimberley.

“These are complicated matters which require extensive on-the-ground support,” Ms Macklin told the National Press Club.

“We are determined to address neglect and abuse and restore social norms and I am pleased the WA government has joined us in this resolve.”

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