Regional Communities: The WA Government has laid out its plan to overhaul the servicing of Aboriginal communities, with Indigenous leaders involved in the process describing it as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for change as reported by Erin Parke.
The future of WA’s 274 Aboriginal communities has been under the microscope following Premier Colin Barnett’s comments that the State Government could no longer afford to keep funding all communities, and some would have to close.
The unit formed eight months ago to review the future of Aboriginal communities will today release details of the changes planned.
The report — described as a “Roadmap for Regional and Remote Aboriginal Communities” — outlines a focusing of funding and support on larger communities, and a withdrawal of the minor services currently delivered to more than 100 small outstations.
Regional Communities: However Regional Development Minister Terry Redman has emphasised no-one will be forced to leave the smaller bush out-stations, even though small government contributions, such as fuel subsidies, will be withdrawn.
“One of the not-negotiables in the work we did, was that we’re not going to remove, or force Aboriginal people to be removed from land, and access to their culture and heritage, access to their kin,” he said.
“So what’s imperative in this, is if someone wants to stay living on the land, living where they’ve always lived, they can do so.”
The 120 communities that have less than 10 residents, or which are only occupied occasionally, will therefore be required to be self-sufficient, while resources are focused on larger centres.
“By the end of the year, we’ll identify 10 of the larger communities and sequentially start coordinating investment into key municipal infrastructure, to give them much better service delivery around water, power, sewerage and the like going forward,” Mr Redman said.
“It may even be some of the bigger centres, where there is access to employment and good quality education, that they could get transitioned into a town.” To read more click here.
Regional Communities will be discussed at The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016 to register for the conference CLICK HERE.
Early bird closes on 25th July so be quick to receive a discounted rate. To view the Conference Program CLICK HERE. With over 60 speakers and 7 keynote speakers, it is a Conference opportunity not to be missed.
The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future and the Conference addresses issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation.