We rate the major parties’ policies on First Nations issues
In this 2021 Western Australia (WA) State Election Scorecard, ANTaR has provided a guide to the policies of the WA Labor Party, the Liberal National Coalition parties, and the WA Greens, in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in Western Australia.
In early January 2021, ANTaR wrote to the three major parties in WA, seeking their policies and election commitments relating to:
- Treaty: Despite the absence of national leadership on the issue, WA is well established in native title agreements with the Noongar peoples to address the historical wrongs of the nation’s ‘unfinished business’ with its First Nations Peoples.
- Closing the Gap: With only two of the continuing targets on track in WA, there is renewed hope that progress will be improved with the commitment to 16 new targets to tackle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage under the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
- Justice: Incarceration rates of First Nations Peoples in WA are the highest in the country. Despite this, the target of reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration in WA by almost a quarter by 2028 has been deferred indefinitely by the State Government.
- Housing: Access to secure, safe and sustainable housing for First Nations Peoples is an issue of concern in WA, and progress continues to be slow nation-wide.
- Heritage Protection: After the destruction of the Juukan Caves in WA’s Pilbara region in May 2020, there have been rising calls for much greater heritage protection across the country. Cultural heritage includes physical sites, language, traditions and many other elements that must be protected and celebrated.
At the time this Election Scorecard was produced, the WA Greens and the Liberal National Coalition parties had provided responses, which we have shared in full. We have drawn upon WA Labor’s 2019 policy platform and any publicly available positions and announcements to inform our analysis.
ANTaR recommends close consideration of the policies of the major parties contesting the WA election – and particularly the policies relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.