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In an article published this morning (11 April 2012), The Australian newspaper reported that the Federal Government will not guarantee continued funding for rubbish collection, water supply and sewerage in remote Indigenous communities.
The states fear that the funding will not be renewed in next month's budget as the Government cuts expenditure in order to return to surplus in 2012-13.
The Federal Government yesterday refused to guarantee on-going funding for the Municipal Services Program (MSP) that expires on June 30. However, it said discussions with the states were ongoing.
In 2011-12, the Federal Government gave the states $41.3 million under the MSP to ensure Indigenous peoples in remote communities enjoyed the same standard of amenities as suburban Australia.
The South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Paul Caica, said yesterday the federal commitment was a vital element in ensuring Aboriginal people had the opportunity to live 'in safe and healthy communities.'
'Municipal services funding is the subject of ongoing negotiations between the State and Commonwealth Governments,' he said.
Source: The Australian