Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011-2018
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Terminology The term ‘Indigenous’ as used in this strategy refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This original artwork was produced by Gilimbaa. Gilimbaa is an Indigenous creative agency accredited by the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council. With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and where otherwise noted all material presented in this document is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/) licence. The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/legalcode). The document must be attributed as Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011-2018. ISBN PRINT 978-1-921975-12-7 PDF 978-1-921975-11-0 HTML 978-1-921975-16-5 FAHCSIA11738 Photography by Lorrie Graham, 2010 and Kerry Trapnell, 2007. Courtesy of the Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). Please be aware that this strategy may contain the images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed away. For more information, please visit www.indigenous.gov.au.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 |1 Contents Ministers’ foreword 2 Overview 5 Why do we need an Indigenous Economic Development Strategy? 6 Indigenous economic development matters 6 Building on progress towards closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage 6 Ongoing investment 7 A combined effort 9 The challenge 10 Diversity and strengths 14 Unique assets and culture 14 The importance of location 14 The opportunity 17 Setting priorities and taking action 18 Guiding principles 18 Ongoing engagement 19 Measuring progress 19 Priorities Strengthening Foundations 20 Education 32 Skills Development and Jobs 40 Business and Entrepreneurship 50 Financial Security and Independence 58 Appendices Significant Australian Government initiatives 65 supporting Indigenous economic development Indigenous Economic Development Framework 73
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 2 | Ministers’ foreword The Australian Government Australians and communities, Indigenous Australians’ economic job service providers, employers, participation. Over the past two years wants all Australians to share in peak bodies, non-government we have made more than 80,000 the opportunities of Australia’s organisations and state, territory and placements into employment for strong economy and to enjoy the local governments. We would like Indigenous job seekers through the to thank everyone who took part Job Services Australia system. financial and social benefits in the consultations that helped to of work. The Indigenous Economic shape this Strategy. The Australian Development Strategy will ensure we Government recognises we cannot The Indigenous Economic continue to create job opportunities close the gap alone. Closing the Gap Development Strategy will help and connect Indigenous Australians requires a genuine partnership with provide a pathway for Indigenous with jobs, by supporting job readiness, Indigenous Australians at all levels Australians to have the same skills development, strengthening and the Government is committed opportunities as all Australians — to links between training and jobs, to a relationship based on trust and get an education, find a job or start improving employment services mutual respect. their own business, own their own and driving demand for Indigenous home and provide for their families. Closing the Gap also requires us to employment. work in partnership with the state and It focuses on five key areas We have invested in areas where territory governments, businesses, for improving the prosperity Indigenous Australians bring unique not for profit organisations, of Indigenous Australians: skills and assets. For example, the Indigenous Australians and the wider strengthening foundations to create Indigenous Ranger Cadetships community. Importantly, individuals an environment that supports program in selected regional and must also take responsibility for economic development; education; remote schools will give Indigenous getting and keeping a job. This skills development and jobs; students the chance to learn skills Strategy provides a framework supporting business development and gain the knowledge necessary to for us to work in partnership to and entrepreneurship; and helping become a ranger. improve the economic situation of people achieve financial security and Indigenous Australians. We are helping more young independence. Indigenous Australians stay at school As part of the Government’s ongoing This Strategy is the result of extensive and get the skills they need to get a job commitment to Closing the Gap, consultation with Indigenous through the $50.7 million Indigenous we are already working to increase
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 |3 Youth Careers Pathways program, This Strategy provides a long-term which provides school-based policy framework for the Australian traineeships in targeted high schools Government and identifies priority across the country. areas and policy objectives to 2018. In order to respond to changing Through the Indigenous circumstances, the Strategy also Opportunities Policy the Government contains a range of actions to 2013 is using its purchasing power to that will be updated so that the increase the use of Indigenous Strategy continues to drive real and businesses in Australian Government sustainable progress. Importantly it funded contracts. also continues to allow us to work in Our unprecedented investment is partnership with Indigenous beginning to make a difference, but Australians, communities, business the Government recognises that and other groups. this work will take time and continued effort. Jenny Macklin Mark Arbib Minister for Families, Minister for Indigenous Housing, Community Employment and Services and Economic Development Indigenous Affairs Chris Evans Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 |5 Overview The Australian Government The Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 sets is committed to ensuring that out a long-term agenda for Indigenous Indigenous Australians have economic participation that will the same opportunities as guide government decision-making and program development through non-Indigenous Australians to to 2018. The Strategy also details share in the prosperity of our a program of specific initiatives nation. Providing Indigenous and reforms that translate the Australians with the education, Australian Government’s priorities The ﬁve priorities of the into action. These actions will be Strategy are to: skills and support to find and assessed and updated every three keep meaningful work, and to years to ensure that the Strategy 1. strengthen foundations responds to changing circumstances to create an environment build financial self-reliance, is and continues to drive real and that supports economic a crucial part of the Australian sustainable progress. development Government’s long-term vision The Australian Government 2. invest in education for closing the gap in Indigenous recognises that tangible and disadvantage. lasting improvements in the 3. encourage participation economic situation of Indigenous and improve access to skills The aim of the Indigenous Economic Australians cannot be achieved by development and jobs Development Strategy 2011–2018 is government alone. to support increased personal and This Strategy supports Indigenous 4. support the growth of economic wellbeing of Indigenous Australians to take responsibility for Indigenous business and Australians through greater their own economic wellbeing and entrepreneurship participation in the economy. to lead independent and productive Economic independence and working lives. 5. assist individuals and security are necessary foundations communities to achieve for good health, functional families The Strategy also emphasises the ﬁnancial security and and successful communities. vital roles that partnerships play in independence by increasing this endeavour, across the private Despite some positive developments, sector, the not-for-profit sector, their ability to identify, Indigenous Australians continue all levels of government and the build and make the most of to face significant economic community. economic assets. disadvantage. Indigenous Australians are still less likely to finish school, have a job, own a home or run a business than non-Indigenous Australians. The Australian Government is committed to overcoming this situation.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 6 | Why do we need an Indigenous Economic Development Strategy? Indigenous economic Building on progress towards In 2008, the Australian Government development matters closing the gap in Indigenous launched the Closing the Gap agenda disadvantage in partnership with state and territory Australia has a strong economy, with governments. Closing the Gap is an one of the lowest unemployment Increasing Indigenous participation ambitious plan to improve the lives rates among countries in the in the economy is vital to achieving of Indigenous Australians. Following Organisation for Economic the Australian Government’s broader the National Apology to Australia’s Co-operation and Development. It is a vision of closing the gap between Indigenous Peoples, the Council of priority of the Australian Government Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian Governments agreed on to make sure that Indigenous Australians in health, education, six key targets. Australians have the opportunity employment and life expectancy. to contribute to a stronger economy The agenda to close the gap on Closing the Gap seeks to: and achieve greater economic Indigenous disadvantage is driven by independence and security for q close the life expectancy gap three important imperatives: themselves, their families and their by 2031 communities. q to overcome decades of under- q halve the gap in child mortality investment in services and Supporting the participation of rates by 2018 infrastructure Indigenous Australians in the q provide universal access to quality economy benefits all Australians. q to encourage and support personal early childhood education for Greater participation in the workforce responsibility as the foundation all Indigenous four year olds in and business will help to close the gap for healthy, functional families and remote communities by 2013 in employment and address income communities disparities between Indigenous q halve the gap in educational q to build new understanding and and non-Indigenous Australians. achievement for children in respect between Indigenous and Increased economic participation will reading, writing, and numeracy non-Indigenous Australians. also contribute to strengthening the by 2018 national economy and help to meet q halve the gap in young people’s labour shortages in key industries. (20–24 year olds) Year 12 or equivalent attainment by 2020 q halve the gap in employment outcomes by 2018.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 The Australian Government is |7 investing more than $5.75 billion over three years from 2011–12 to help achieve these targets. In addition, a further $526.6 million over five years was provided in the 2011–12 Budget to boost our efforts to Close the Gap. Economic participation is one of the key building blocks of this historic agenda. A good education, safe housing, healthy individuals, supportive families and communities, local leadership and strong governance provide the foundations for economic development. The Australian Government recognises the importance of these factors and this Strategy focuses on the way that education, health, safety and community governance affect the economic wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. Ongoing investment The Australian Government commits substantial resources to mainstream services and programs that support the development of individual capacity and economic opportunity, which are available to all Australians. The education system, health, financial management and employment services all contribute to building economic participation for all Australians, including Indigenous Australians. These programs directly support the priorities outlined in the Strategy. In addition to the significant amount of investment in ongoing mainstream programs and the targeted investment under the Closing the Gap agenda, the Australian “Supporting the Government has numerous ongoing Indigenous-specific initiatives participation and two statutory authorities that contribute to economic participation and development. of Indigenous Australians in the economy benefits all Australians”
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 8 | The Australian Government q The Working on Country is investing in a number of key Indigenous Ranger Program which Indigenous-specific initiatives that delivers significant environmental support the Strategy: outcomes across remote and regional Australia, including q The Aboriginal and Torres improved management of fire, Strait Islander Education feral animals, invasive weeds, Action Plan 2010–14 which is threatened species and coastal making substantial and ongoing and marine systems. investments in Indigenous education and training. This q The Indigenous Opportunities includes investment in the Policy (IOP) which was fully priorities of: implemented on 1 July 2011. Under the IOP, suppliers to the > readiness for school Australian Government who win > engagement and connections contracts valued over $5 million ($6 million for construction) > attendance for activity in regions with a > literacy and numeracy significant Indigenous population > leadership, quality teaching and are required to develop and workforce development implement an Indigenous Training, Employment and > pathways to real post-school Supplier plan. The plans include options. q The Indigenous Employment strategies for using Indigenous businesses in the supply chain. “Support the Program which aims to increase economic outcomes and > A complementary Commonwealth Procurement development participation by encouraging Guidelines (CPG) exemption employers to provide sustainable employment opportunities for was introduced on 19 May 2011 to reduce obstacles for of individual Indigenous Australians and supporting Indigenous Australians Commonwealth Government agencies to contract directly with capacity and to develop skills and businesses. Indigenous small-to-medium q The Community Development businesses. This will make it easier for Indigenous businesses economic Employment Projects program which supports Indigenous Australians in remote areas to compete for government contracts, as the procurement opportunity” through community development process is simpler and and participation opportunities administrative costs are reduced. that develop skills, improve capacity, work readiness and employability. > The Australian Government is conducting a review of remote participation and employment services to ensure job service providers are best meeting the needs of Indigenous and other remote job seekers.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 |9 Some of the most important The Strategy identifies a range of investments that the Australian specific actions, both mainstream Government has made over a and Indigenous-specific, which are number of years are through the two underpinned by or build on these key statutory authorities responsible key initiatives and investments. A for supporting Indigenous economic summary of a range of Australian development, the Indigenous Government initiatives and programs Land Corporation and Indigenous that support Indigenous economic Business Australia. development and participation is also provided as an Appendix. q Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) works to increase economic independence for Indigenous A combined effort Australians by providing home and business loans and joint Australian Government investment venture investment partnerships. is, however, only one part of the Through these initiatives solution. The private sector, non- Indigenous Australians increase government organisations, other their capacity to work with and levels of government and Indigenous benefit from the private sector to Australians all play essential roles pursue business opportunities and in improving Indigenous economic own their own homes. IBA has an development. asset base of approximately The role of the private sector is $1.02 billion. particularly significant. Businesses q The Indigenous Land Corporation are the most critical part of a strong (ILC) works to achieve economic, and developing economy. Private- environmental, social and sector engagement is fundamental to cultural benefits for Indigenous improving economic development Australians by purchasing and opportunities for Indigenous managing land. Through these Australians. activities Indigenous Australians are provided with training for jobs and better access to education. These initiatives lead to sustainable management of land and contribute to the protection of cultural and environmental values. The ILC has an asset base of approximately $681 million.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 10 | There are examples where real The challenge change is occurring in this area. In the mining industry there is Despite ongoing effort by all partners, significant engagement between significant challenges remain. mining companies and Indigenous Indigenous Australians are just communities and employees. This over half as likely to finish Year 12 is making a real difference to the when compared to non-Indigenous rates of Indigenous employment in Australians. Young Indigenous the mining industry and generating Australians aged 15–19 are less opportunities for Indigenous likely to be enrolled in school than businesses. The Memorandum their non-Indigenous counterparts of Understanding between the (37.9 per cent compared to 51.7 per Australian Government and the cent) and those aged 20–24 attend Minerals Council of Australia university at about one-fifth the demonstrates both the level of rate of their non-Indigenous peers1 . opportunity that exists in this Although Indigenous Australians are sector and the commitment by both participating in vocational education government and the mining industry and training, the level of qualification to maximise economic benefits for and the rates of completion tend to Indigenous Australians. be low and the levels of participation are not adequately reflected in The Australian Employment employment outcomes. Covenant is another example of how industry has taken a lead role In all states and territories, across in partnering with governments cities, regions and remote areas, and Indigenous Australians to help the rate of Indigenous labour force close the gap in employment and participation is lower, and the employment opportunities. Since unemployment rate higher, than it was first announced in 2008, the for non-Indigenous Australians. Australian Employment Covenant Indigenous Australians are has secured commitments from nearly four times more likely to be employers across Australia to place unemployed. Indigenous Australians over 50,000 Indigenous Australians tend to remain unemployed for into employment. longer, are more likely to be employed part-time and a greater proportion The non-government sector also are not in the labour force (35.5 per plays a key role not only in the cent of working age Indigenous provision of support services, but Australians compared to 21.7 per cent also in providing opportunities of the non-Indigenous working age for employment of Indigenous population)2. Indigenous Australians Australians. are less likely to be self-employed Government and the private sector than non-Indigenous Australians and can assist in creating opportunities are under-represented in professional, and building individual skills and managerial, technical and trades- capacity. However, the commitment based occupations. of Indigenous Australians to This situation is reflected in income increase their rate of economic levels and financial security. On participation is essential to sharing average Indigenous Australians the benefits of economic growth. In earn just over half as much as non- resetting the relationship between Indigenous Australians (median Indigenous Australians and 1 Productivity Commission, 2009 Report on Overcoming income of $400 per week compared Indigenous Disadvantage non-Indigenous Australians, the 2 Productivity Commission, 2011, Report on Overcoming to median income of $608 per week). Indigenous Disadvantage Australian Government is working Only 29 per cent of Indigenous 3 Productivity Commission, 2011 Report on Overcoming with Indigenous groups to identify Indigenous Disadvantage Australians own their own home, opportunities and develop local compared to 65 per cent of non- solutions. Leadership is essential Indigenous Australians3. to making the most of these opportunities.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 | 11 “Identify opportunities and develop local solutions”
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 12 | The Indigenous population is Indigenous Australians, as the very young — almost half of all gaps in the workforce created by Indigenous Australians are aged the ageing of the non-Indigenous 19 years and under — and growing population need to be filled. fast. In 2006 there were 517,000 Schooling and employment are Indigenous Australians and the ABS the keys to ensuring we make the projects that by 2021 the Indigenous most of these opportunities and population will increase to more than to ensure Indigenous Australians 720,0004. This means that while the achieve a greater level of financial nation overall adapts to an ageing independence. Figure 1. provides population, Indigenous Australia a snapshot of these indicators and will have particular needs relating the economic differences between to growing numbers of school-aged Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and young job seekers. Australians. Based on population benchmarks for the ABS 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social 4 ABS 3238.0 Experimental Estimates and Projections, Survey (NATSISS), at least 135,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 Indigenous Australians aged 4–14 years in 2008 will be of working age by 2018. These trends present great opportunities for young
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 | 13 FIGURE 1: DIFFERENCES IN ECONOMIC INDICATORS BETWEEN INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS. Indigenous Outcomes Non-Indigenous Outcomes Strengthening Living in state or community housing Living in state or community housing Foundations = 39.5% = 3.2% Relying primarily on income support Relying primarily on income support = around 40% (among the 18-64 year = around 14% (among the 18-64 year old population) old population) Education Year 12 attainment = 47.4% Year 12 attainment = 83.8% (among the 20-24 year old population) (among the 20-24 year old population) Jobs Persons 15-64 years Persons 15-64 years Total per cent employed = 53.8% Total per cent employed = 75.0% Unemployed rate = 16.6% Unemployed rate = 4.2% Not in the labour force = 35.5% Not in the labour force = 21.7% Business and Persons 18-64 years in Persons 18-64 years in Entrepreneurship non-remote areas non-remote areas Self employed = 6.7% Self employed = 10.9% Financial Security Median weekly income = $400 Median weekly income = $608 and Independence Home ownership = 29.0% Home ownership = 65.2% Source: Productivity Commission, 2011 Report on Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 14 | Diversity and strengths The Australian Government Alongside an increase in the number of Indigenous Australians working recognises and values the diverse in sectors in which Indigenous circumstances and experience Australians have traditionally been of Indigenous Australians. involved such as land management, literature, the arts, the resources To be effective, government sector and primary industry, many actions must take into account Indigenous Australians are making a a diversity of cultural identities, growing contribution to the broader economy in areas such as retail, family connections and consultancy, the public sector and responsibilities, as well as the business and entrepreneurship, to location and demographic profile name a few. Indigenous Australians have made these contributions of communities. Access to jobs and while maintaining and benefiting commercial opportunities can be from a strong cultural identity within very different in cities, towns and individuals, families and communities. remote areas across the country. The importance of location Unique assets and culture When it comes to economic development, place matters. Access to Indigenous Australians have unique employment opportunities, markets, and important assets and skills to bring services, infrastructure, education to the broader economy. This includes and therefore the ability to participate strong social networks and community in the broader economy is influenced identity, and a rich traditional and by where Indigenous Australians cultural knowledge that can be live. Three-quarters of Indigenous valuable economic assets. Indigenous Australians live in urban and regional culture and its practice can support centres. While only 25 per cent live in economic participation, development remote Australia, the level of economic and financial independence. disadvantage of Indigenous Australians Indigenous Australians own or control in these areas is acute. approximately 20 per cent of land in Because opportunities and challenges Australia and the resources associated for Indigenous economic development with that land, including access to differ across urban, regional and minerals, water and areas of high remote areas, there is a need for flexible biodiversity value. development opportunities that can adapt to place and local context.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 | 15
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 16 | Cities and larger regional centres financial independence. Through q removing barriers to genuine programs such as Connecting commercial ventures, which is In cities and larger regional centres, People with Jobs, the Australian crucial to ensure that private- Indigenous economic development Government is supporting sector opportunities grow in means helping Indigenous Indigenous Australians where remote locations to complement Australians tap into the diversity they choose to move to access public-sector services and jobs. of existing economic activity, for education and jobs in locations example: Long-term reliance on income with increased opportunities. support can undermine other q the greater availability and q Innovative solutions which aim to capabilities and further entrench accessibility of education and increase economic participation in disadvantage. In remote areas, vocational training targeted at particular locations, such as a fly-in the focus for governments and job opportunities and career fly-out mobile workforce, should be individuals needs to be on: progression explored. q building individual capabilities, q opportunities for business q Access to infrastructure is including foundation skills development, home ownership important. Government has a role and wealth creation are greater in q improving employment services in ensuring that infrastructure these locations. to better meet the needs of is available and that people are remote locations in a position to make the most of Smaller regional and rural areas new technologies that can boost q creating meaningful participation economic participation. activities – this means making sure In these areas the focus is on that Indigenous Australians are building individual capabilities and encouraged to take the jobs that ensuring that welfare systems do not Remote locations are available and that appropriate discourage economic participation. In remote and very remote job search requirements Education is of the utmost locations education levels can be are enforced. importance. low, jobs scarce and infrastructure q Vocational training should be undeveloped. Increasing Indigenous focused on local employment economic participation in these areas opportunities and areas where is about: there are identified skills shortages. q identifying new opportunities q Improved support for business and maximising Indigenous development will assist more employment in the existing people in regional areas to achieve labour market
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 “Success | 17 depends on working in partnership” The opportunity New positions are expected to companies are providing jobs and significantly increase across a range allowing Indigenous Australians to While it is encouraging that there of industries over the next five share in wealth creation. Indigenous has been an increase in involvement years, offering new opportunities Protected Areas, while delivering in sectors of the economy with at the entry level and for qualified significant environmental benefits, traditionally higher Indigenous applicants. Over the five years to will also support economic participation, the Australian 2015–16, significant employment endeavours such as ecotourism. Government — and the business growth is expected in areas such as There are a growing number of community — needs to work with health care, construction and mining. native title agreements. In addition Indigenous Australians to look more Additionally, employment in the to payments, these agreements often broadly and consider opportunities food services industry is projected include practical benefits such as: in a wide range of established and to increase. These sectors provide emerging sectors. opportunities for employment across q training and employment A number of sectors, including all states and territories. q title to land mining, health care, social assistance There are a number of sectors q business, cultural heritage and and trades, are experiencing experiencing skills shortages, such conservation opportunities. shortages of skilled workers. as mining, health and community Shortages are evident in the services, food services and It is critical that these agreements engineering professions, health construction, creating a wide range of provide sustainable and diagnosis, treatment and nursing employment prospects. intergenerational outcomes for native professions, automotive, engineering title groups. As investment in clean energy and food trades and child care. sources such as solar, gas and wind There is a need to recognise the To assist Indigenous Australians increases, the growth of the clean valuable contribution Indigenous to gain the skills they need to energy sector will also provide Australians are making to the contribute to the labour market in many new opportunities for jobs and economy and to work together to these occupations, the Australian businesses and initiatives. Through turn opportunities into jobs and Government has in place a range of the Indigenous Carbon Farming businesses. initiatives, including scholarships and Fund under the Carbon Farming incentives for study at university and Initiative, the Australian Government through the vocational education and will support Indigenous Australians training system. to take up opportunities in carbon Employers also experience difficulty abatement activities. This may recruiting workers in the retail, include savanna fire management, transport and hospitality sectors. feral camel management and These offer entry-level positions to environmental planting. the labour market, and may provide Indigenous-held land provides real sound opportunities for new job economic opportunity. Land use seekers. Job Services Australia plays agreements should incorporate a key role in connecting unemployed strategies that encourage economic people to employers in these and participation, like business and home other sectors. ownership. Agreements between Indigenous communities and mining
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 18 | Setting priorities and taking action Just as the Closing the Gap work the Australian Government q Indigenous Australians can make is doing to achieve each of the a unique contribution to our framework provides a clear objectives identified in the Strategy. economy. set of shared goals to address The actions contained in the Strategy q Closing the Gap requires a genuine Indigenous disadvantage, will be updated every three years, as partnership with Indigenous the Indigenous Economic the Strategy drives the development Australians at all levels and the Development Strategy 2011–2018 of new policies and initiatives to Government is committed to a support Indigenous economic relationship based on trust and provides a vision for government, development. mutual respect. business and Indigenous and Government cannot act alone. q Lasting Indigenous economic non-Indigenous Australians Success depends on working in wellbeing relies on Indigenous and outlines actions for partnership with Indigenous leaders, Australians having the communities and individuals opportunities and taking improving Indigenous economic and with businesses, industry responsibility for their individual development. peak bodies and non-government and family wellbeing, education organisations. and economic independence. The Strategy sets out a long-term policy framework for Indigenous By monitoring, progressing and q Indigenous leadership is essential economic development that will developing the actions under this to leading and shaping sustainable guide government decision-making Strategy we expect to see: improvements in Indigenous and program development through to economic wellbeing. q a better skilled and motivated 2018, which aligns with the timeframe Indigenous workforce capable of q Real, sustainable change cannot be of the Closing the Gap agenda. It finding and keeping jobs, starting achieved by government alone. It sets priorities and objectives and businesses and building assets relies on Indigenous Australians, describes the initial actions the the private sector, the not-for-profit Australian Government will take in q a stronger and more viable sector and all levels of government. the priority areas. Indigenous business sector q Action is most effective when The priority areas and actions in the q an economic environment it supports the goal of greater Strategy reflect the input provided that supports greater use and Indigenous economic self-reliance. through public submissions and recognition of Indigenous skills, discussions with the private sector, assets and opportunities. q Effective action targets both the not-for-profit sector, all levels of existing and future needs. A long-term perspective is essential government and the community. Guiding principles In addition to the actions already to building greater economic identified, the Strategy provides a The success of this Strategy relies independence and prosperity for basis for the Australian Government on the commitment and actions of Indigenous Australians. and stakeholders to work together to all partners including governments, develop new policies and actions in the private sector and Indigenous these areas. Australians. All actions developed under this Strategy will be guided by This Strategy will be implemented the following principles: through the actions embedded in the Strategy. The actions identify the
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 | 19 Ongoing engagement The Australian Government will to track progress. The Strategy will continue to work in partnership not duplicate existing reporting Genuine engagement with with Indigenous Australians. This processes, rather it will be used Indigenous Australians is will include working with a range to monitor broader progress and fundamental to the Australian of individuals, bodies and groups develop future actions. Government’s efforts to increase that offer specific expertise and personal and economic wellbeing Key indicators of economic knowledge on particular areas in the and close the gap in Indigenous development are already captured continued development of disadvantage. in the Australian Government’s the Strategy over time. This will reporting against Closing the The successful implementation include, for example, the National Gap targets (such as education of this Strategy relies on the Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and employment) and the active involvement of Indigenous Native Title Representative Bodies Productivity Commission’s reporting Australians, government and the and Land Councils and the newly on Overcoming Indigenous community. This includes volunteers, established Indigenous Business Disadvantage (such as household businesses, industry peak bodies and Policy Advisory Group. and individual income). The Prime non-government organisations. Measuring progress Minister’s annual Closing the Gap It will be essential for the Australian statement to Parliament reports on This Strategy provides a high-level Government to maintain this these indicators and the progress policy framework and describes engagement as it develops, designs that is being made in these the major actions the Australian and implements the range of important areas. Government is taking to achieve programs and actions that will its goal of improved economic respond to the key economic development for Indigenous priorities and actions articulated in Australians. Specific targets and the Strategy. reporting arrangements are built into each of the programs and initiatives identified in the Strategy
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 20 |
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 | 21 Priority 1: Strengthening Foundations
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 22 | Individuals are more likely to engage community, where local leadership in the broader economy when they sets an inspiring example of success are healthy, live in safe, well-run and wellbeing. Where these factors communities and when welfare and are present, people are better able taxation policies are designed to to access and benefit from the support participation. education and vocational skills development opportunities that An environment that encourages will create pathways to economic people to develop the skills they participation. need to get a job or establish a business is crucial to improving the The Australian Government’s long-term prosperity and economic unprecedented investment in independence of Indigenous these foundations of economic Australians. Settings that best wellbeing is already making a real support economic development are difference to Indigenous Australians’ those where people have access to lives. Government also has an basic services and infrastructure important role in ensuring that the such as health care, live in safe, legal, taxation and welfare systems resilient communities and have encourage economic participation stable and secure accommodation. and do not create disincentives that Strong, local governance is also impede successful participation in required to provide a strong the economy.
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 Strengthening Foundations | 23 Objective 1.1 Increase access to safe and affordable housing Affordable housing gives people the benefiting from the significant new The renegotiation has resulted in a chance to raise families in the safety investment the Australian Government new sense of drive and urgency, with and security of their own homes. In has undertaken in response to New South Wales, Western Australia, a safe and stable home, Indigenous decades of under-investment in safe Tasmania and the Northern Territory Australians are better able to develop and affordable housing. The benefits all exceeding their new housing targets the skills needed to find and keep jobs of this investment are considerable, during the 2010–11 financial year. and have successful working lives. particularly in areas where Indigenous Australians make up a significant Overall since the commencement of the The Australian Government provides proportion of social housing residents. National Partnership on mainstream housing assistance to To ensure the benefits of this investment 1 January 2009 until 30 June 2011, low-to-medium income households are sustained into the future Indigenous more than 800 new houses have been through Commonwealth Rent Australians must be encouraged to take completed and 3,100 houses have been Assistance, as well as funding under responsibility for homes. rebuilt and refurbished nationally. the National Affordable Housing Agreement which supports state and The Australian Government has Private ownership plays a significant territory government social housing committed an unprecedented part in providing Australians with initiatives. With Indigenous Australians $5.5 billion over ten years from access to secure housing. Historically earning, on average, about two–thirds 2008–09 through the National however Indigenous Australians have as much as non-Indigenous Australians, Partnership Agreement on Remote not enjoyed the same rates of home access to safe and affordable housing Indigenous Housing. Under the ownership as other Australians. While is critical. Under the Social Housing National Partnership jurisdictions have the rate of Indigenous home ownership Initiative more than 19,600 new social committed to 20 per cent Indigenous is increasing it is still only slightly over housing dwellings are being built and employment over the life of the half of the national rate. As Indigenous around 80,000 existing homes repaired program. economic wellbeing improves, income and upgraded. Indigenous Australians levels and the rate of home ownership make up around 8 per cent of Australia’s The National Partnership Agreement are expected to rise. In addition public housing residents, totalling 2,500 on Remote Indigenous Housing to working closely with financial Indigenous households supported is a joint partnership between the institutions and state and territory under the Social Housing Initiative. Australian, state and Northern Territory governments to address this issue the Governments. The Agreement was Australian Government also funds Like most Australians, the majority of renegotiated in late 2009 to provide direct assistance through Indigenous Indigenous Australians (75 per cent) greater incentives for performance, Business Australia’s home loan live in urban and regional areas where resulting in better than expected programs (Home Ownership Program they have access to a range of housing delivery. and Home Ownership on Indigenous services and opportunities. The Land Program). Australian Government is committed Under the revised arrangement up to 25 to working with state and territory per cent of a jurisdiction’s capital works Home ownership is also recognised in governments and services to increase funding allocation can be reallocated if Priority 5 as an important element of the supply of safe and affordable agreed targets are not met. Financial Security and Independence. housing. Indigenous Australians are STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS Objective 1.1 Increase access to safe and affordable housing Strategies to 2018 Actions to 2013 Increase the supply of safe Work with state and territory governments and private providers to continue to increase the supply of and affordable housing public and community housing under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and the National Affordable Housing Agreement and work with private providers to increase the supply of affordable housing. Encourage responsibility for Continue to work with the state and territory governments to ensure that robust tenancy management homes arrangements in community and public housing are in place, and promote greater care and responsibility for homes under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and the National Affordable Housing Agreement. Support the transition from Work with state and territory governments to expand access to affordable home ownership through tenancy to home ownership mortgage assistance, matched savings accounts and shared equity schemes. Note that a full list of actions Continue to provide access to affordable home loans to eligible Indigenous Australians through supporting this Strategy is Indigenous Business Australia (providing an average of $103.9 million per annum in home loans over provided under Objective 5.1 three years).
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 24 | Strengthening Foundations Objective 1.2 Ensure infrastructure investments support economic development Economic activity and growth Investment in new information It also has the potential to create rely on quality infrastructure. The technology is essential to increasing new employment and enterprise Australian Government is making access to markets in regional and opportunities in Indigenous record investments to modernise, remote locations. In particular, the communities, particularly in regional improve and increase Australia’s National Broadband Network will and remote locations. Ensuring these economic infrastructure. In many be a critical enabler as it is rolled potential benefits are maximised regional and remote areas Indigenous out. This investment can boost is a priority for the Australian communities face infrastructure productivity, drive innovation and Government. challenges that require specific lift economic output. It will help attention. In these locations, new give children access to world-class infrastructure that can drive education resources, provide access economic development must be a to better health care and enable local priority for government. businesses to reach new markets. STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS Objective 1.2 Ensure infrastructure investments support economic development Strategies to 2018 Actions to 2013 Increase access to Continue to roll out the National Broadband Network nationally. new information Improve access to basic telephone services and public internet facilities in remote communities through the Indigenous technology Communications Program ($31 million over four years from 2009–10). Improve essential Implement the Remote Indigenous Energy Program to help remote Indigenous communities access clean, affordable infrastructure and reliable 24-hour power supplies through installing renewable energy generation systems such as solar panels and wind turbines in around 50 remote Indigenous communities across Australia ($40 million over 5 years from 2011–12). Provide critical safety upgrades to remote and isolated airstrips across Australia, including in remote Indigenous communities through the Regional Aviation Access Program ($33.5 million over two years from 2011–12) which includes $12.1 million over three years from 2010–11 for safety upgrades to airstrips at Indigenous communities. With the state and territory governments, ensure new housing constructed under the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing have access to essential service infrastructure (power, water, sewerage, roads) in priority remote communities and town camps. This includes funding, jointly with the Northern Territory Government, of over $150 million over ﬁve years from May 2009 for the Alice Springs Transformation Plan which will transform town camps into fully serviced suburbs like any other in the town. Work with state and territory governments to implement revised roles and responsibilities for funding and delivery of municipal and essential services and related infrastructure in remote communities, as committed to by the Council of Australian Governments under the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing. Provide new purpose-built or refurbished community stores and store manager accommodation across the Northern Territory to help ensure healthy and affordable food is readily available ($50 million between 2011 and 2015). Complete projects to upgrade water supply and wastewater infrastructure such as treatment facilities, water storage capacity and pipe networks in remote communities, and support these communities in the overall management of their water supply systems ($51.7 million over four years from 2011).
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 Strengthening Foundations | 25 Objective 1.3 Increase access to health services Poor health can have a significant as it is to all Australians. Indigenous Partnership Agreement on Closing impact on a person’s capacity to Australians are more likely than the Gap in Indigenous Health participate in the economy. Healthy non-Indigenous Australians to be Outcomes. people develop their capabilities hospitalised for most diseases and The Australian Government is through education and training and conditions, experience disability and committed to increasing access grasp opportunities to work or start reduced quality of life due to ill health to health services for Indigenous businesses. Indigenous Australians and die at a younger age than other Australians through investing in experience significantly lower health Australians. health infrastructure, providing outcomes than other Australians and In an effort to address decades better coordinated care, assisting with improving Indigenous health will of under-investment in health the cost of medicines and improving result in significant benefits impacting services in Indigenous communities, access to follow-up health care. both directly and indirectly on their the Australian Government has Another priority is the expansion ability to participate in the economy. increased its annual specific of the Indigenous health workforce Ready access to quality health Indigenous health expenditure by to ensure the provision of effective, services is crucial to the health and 87 per cent since 2007–08. This culturally-sensitive health services. wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, includes the $1.6 billion National
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 26 | STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS Objective 1.3 Increase access to health services Strategies to 2018 Actions to 2013 Improve health Invest to improve access to health services by providing 15 new or expanded Indigenous health clinics and 40 infrastructure new renal dialysis chairs through the Health and Hospitals Fund - Regional Priority Round ($113.4 million over ﬁve years from 2011–12). Improve the quality and safety of health services delivered to Indigenous Australians by assisting Indigenous health organisations to achieve clinical accreditation through the Establishing Quality Health Standards program ($35 million over four years from 2011–12). Support an expanding Under the Indigenous Chronic Disease package ($805.5 million over four years from 2009–10), fund a total Indigenous health of 698 new positions nationally, with many positions focusing on employment and training of Indigenous workforce Australians. This includes: Þ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Workers Þ practice managers Þ Project Ofﬁcers in Divisions of General Practice and NACCHO and State Afﬁliates Þ additional health professionals in Indigenous health services Þ Regional Tobacco Coordinators Þ Tobacco Action Workers Þ Healthy Lifestyle Workers Þ a ﬂexible pool of funding to recruit Care Coordinators based on local needs. Increase access to mental Expand the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program to deliver culturally appropriate suicide health services prevention and mental health services to around an additional 18,000 Indigenous Australians ($36.5 million over ﬁve years from 2011–12). Address child–abuse related trauma of Indigenous children, families and their communities in the remote Northern Territory by funding Mobile Outreach Service Plus and related services ($15.6 million over four years from 2008–09). Improve access to primary Establish 62 Medicare Locals as part of the National Health Reform agenda including in regional locations health care with signiﬁcant Indigenous populations such as Northern Territory, Far North Queensland and Kimberley- Pilbara Medicare Locals. Medicare Locals will be primary health care organisations established to coordinate primary health care delivery and tackle local health care needs and service gaps. They will drive improvements in primary health care and ensure that services are better tailored to meet the needs of local communities ($493 million over four years from 2011–12). Under the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Chronic Disease package ($805.5 million over four years from 2009–10): Þ tackle chronic disease risk factors including smoking, poor nutrition and lack of exercise and deliver community education initiatives to reduce the number of Indigenous Australians with these risk factors Þ improve chronic disease management and follow-up care in primary care by providing incentives and support for accredited general practices and Indigenous health services to detect, treat and manage chronic disease more effectively, supporting Indigenous Australians to participate in their own healthcare and by increasing access to affordable specialist, allied health care and medicines for Indigenous Australians with a chronic disease Þ increase the capacity of the primary care workforce to deliver effective health care to Indigenous Australians by funding more than 160 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Workers, 75 additional health professionals and practice managers in Indigenous health services, and a range of workforce training and professional development activities. Implement and evaluate pilot projects providing mobile dental equipment and services to rural and regional Indigenous communities ($11 million over four years from 2009–10). Provide dental follow-up services to children living in the prescribed areas of the Northern Territory with a referral from a Child Health Check or from a subsequent follow-up service such as a primary health care consultation ($10.7 million over three years from 2009–10 as part of the $131.1 million Closing the Gap – Northern Territory – Indigenous Health and Related Services measure).
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018 Strengthening Foundations | 27 Objective 1.4 Support safe communities All Australians have the right to in education and housing can make a take responsibility for choices that live in safe communities, free from real difference. lead to healthier lives. The Australian violence, abuse and fear. For too many Government recognises that by Safe and stable communities promote Indigenous Australians, communities providing positive role models and social engagement, achieve better are not the safe places they should be. setting high expectations, strong educational outcomes and are Indigenous leaders can make a vital While state and territory governments more likely to attract investment by contribution to the security and have primary responsibility for lowering risk for business. wellbeing of their communities. ensuring that Indigenous Australians Every individual and family has a role enjoy the same level of safety as to play in rebuilding and enforcing other Australians, the Australian the social norms that underpin Government also has a part to play. successful communities. Positive People need to feel safe in their social norms encourage people to homes and streets before investment STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS Objective 1.4 Support safe communities Strategies to 2018 Actions to 2013 Improve Reduce family violence by implementing the Indigenous Family Safety Program ($64.4 million over four years from community safety 2010–11) which will: Þ address alcohol abuse, with an urgent focus on reducing the supply of alcohol Þ provide more effective police protection to reduce incidents of violence Þ work with strong local leaders to strengthen social norms against violence by changing attitudes and fostering respectful relationships Þ coordinate support services to aid the recovery of people who experience violence, including children who experience or witness violence. Support Indigenous communities to develop local solutions for promoting community safety through fostering women’s leadership, building community capacity and improving access to services under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children and the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. Reduce petrol snifﬁng in remote communities by expanding the rollout of Opal fuel from 110 sites to 150 sites nationally under the Petrol Snifﬁng Strategy ($38.5 million over four years from 2010–11). Increase the police presence in remote communities in the Northern Territory with ﬁve new permanent police stations ($47.8 million in 2011–12) and eight sworn community police engagement ofﬁcers ($1.7 million in 2011–12). Reduce offending and reoffending through focused initiatives under the Indigenous Justice Program ($11.4 million in 2011–12) including provision of holistic through-care programs for people exiting prison. Support new community solutions for ﬁghting alcohol and substance abuse in Indigenous communities, including development of alcohol and substance abuse management programs through the Breaking the Cycle initiative ($20.0 million over three years from 2011–12). Encourage safe Indigenous communities by improving the capacity of Australian justice systems to deliver on the needs of Indigenous Australians, reducing Indigenous overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, addressing substance abuse, and strengthening partnerships between communities, governments and stakeholders under the National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework.
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