RESPECTED Aboriginal leader Gerry Moore fears cuts in the federal budget could lead to a “second stolen generation”.
Mr Moore said cuts to welfare and the Aboriginal Legal Service in the Abbott government’s budget could see Aboriginal children being taken away from their parents.
“There has been $13 million stripped from the Aboriginal Legal Service in the budget and I fear that could have a huge effect on Aboriginal people gaining good representation,” he said.
“The government will tell you the cuts are only in areas of policy and research, but that is one of the main areas we need to keep on top of.
“This could create another generation where people get into trouble and cannot access the help they need.
“And that could lead to children being removed from their parents.”
He said cuts to welfare could lead to people resorting to “other methods” just to survive.
“People get in trouble, they then get into the court system and that can have a flow-on effect to other organisations getting involved like Family and Community Services.”
He is concerned cuts to the legal service will mean people will not get “proper representation”.
“It’s a major concern not only for people getting into trouble but those who are already in the court system in general, like Family Law matters. These cuts will affect them,” he said.
“They need good representation in the court system.
“It could lead to a second stolen generation.
“Add welfare cuts and people are just trying to survive. There has got to be a flow-on effect and unfortunately it will affect the most disadvantaged people, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.
“It just keeps getting worse and worse.
“The government says the cuts won’t come in for some time but people are really scared right now and that’s having an adverse effect.
“But if Clive Palmer and the Greens do their bit in the parliament there may be a stay of execution for some of these things.”
GERRY Moore’s vocal campaign against the recent federal budget has led to inevitable questions about a future career in politics.
He’s playing his cards close to his chest, not ruling such a move in or out.
He said he has been inspired over the past week to make a difference.
“I’m very flattered that people would even ask me about politics,” he said.
“It is something that has been on my mind but there is a long way to go until the next election and it would have to be a very carefully considered decision.
“But what has happened over the past week has inspired me to make a difference.
“Not just for my people but I want to do good for people in general – the elderly, the sick, our young unemployed people, pensioners, people who are socio economically disadvantaged.
“They are the ones who need to a strong voice. They are the ones being asked to do the heavy lifting in the process.”