Cuts to Bubup Wilam for Aboriginal Early Learning and Family Centre - speech in Parliament

Mr GILES (Scullin) (13:52): I join my colleagues the member for Newcastle and the member for Chisholm in drawing the attention of the House to the adverse impact of this government's decisions in supporting Aboriginal people. Since being elected to this place, I have been a passionate advocate and supporter of the wonderful Bubup Wilam for Early Learning Aboriginal Children and Family Centre in Thomastown. The funding for this centre is under threat.

The funding is scheduled to run out on 30 June. I thought that I would receive some good news in response to my representations to Minister Scullion, when I saw that he was quoted in the Whittlesea Leader on 27 May as saying that transition funding would be made available to the centre. This created an atmosphere of hope in the Aboriginal communities of Melbourne's north. While we have always known that this government would say one thing before the election and do another after, in making this criticism we have been selling it short—because, as soon as the minister had made these remarks to the Whittlesea Leader, he withdrew them. This is another cruel broken promise, which will impact 74 Aboriginal families in my electorate, whose conditions of adversity have been compounded by the confusion. I ask members opposite to imagine those families. Imagine the confusion; imagine the heartbreak. But I say to the minister and members opposite: it is not too late; change your mind again and make available funding that will allow Bubup Wilam to keep supporting Aboriginal families.

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