DELIVERING LAND AND ECONOMIC SECURITY IN THE NT

 

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians

Member for Hasluck

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

8 November 2019

 

DELIVERING LAND AND ECONOMIC SECURITY IN THE NT

 

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, today announced he would move to prioritise grants of land to finalise 15 Indigenous land claims in the Northern Territory.

This follows recommendations made by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner to Parliament earlier this year.

While addressing the 9th Aboriginal Economic Development Forum in Darwin Minister Wyatt said that:

“Land security is economic security.”

“And from economic security comes the ability to put in place the foundations that will lead to economic growth, job opportunity and better security for Indigenous Australians.”

The Aboriginal Land Commissioner’s Report covered 16 land claims recommended for grants —some of which were lodged nearly 40 years ago.

“I support his recommendations—and look forward to a collaborative effort between all stakeholders to make sure these claims are finalised over the coming months,” Minister Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt wrote to the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Land Council and Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Government indicating his support of the recommendations, and asking for their assistance to finalise the claims in a timely manner.

“It’s time we took action. Once I receive final details on each individual claim, we can move forward on finalising these longstanding grants,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This is economic empowerment, it’s entrusting Indigenous Australians to make decisions that will benefit their communities and people.”

To read the Aboriginal Land Commissioner’s report, visit: https://www.niaa.gov.au/resource-centre/indigenous-affairs/report-review-detriment-aboriginal-land-claims-recommended-grant-not-yet-finalised

 

Media contact: Luke Nayna, Media Adviser 0438 231 687

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FORUM

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians

Member for Hasluck

 

Key Note Address

8 November 2019 - Darwin

ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FORUM

 

E&OE – Check against delivery.

 

‘Kaya wangju’ – hello and welcome.

Richard thank you for your warm welcome to your beautiful country.

I pay my respects to you and all Larrakia people, as the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet.

I extend that respect to Larrakia elders, past and present, and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today.

It is appropriate this Forum is held on the land of the Larrakia people – as they are actively pursuing economic and business opportunities on their land.

Richard, I want to commend you on the work you do in training doctors and health professionals here in the Northern Territory – how you help them navigate the diverse complexities and challenges faced in Indigenous Health.

As a former Minister for Indigenous Health, and as the Minister for Indigenous Australians – I am committed to working closely with those on the ground, listening and learning from them, and building upon those things that work best so we can realise better health outcomes across Australia.

Thank you for inviting me to open the second day of the 9th Aboriginal Economic Development Forum.

As I have been travelling around Australia – I am constantly reminded of the vision, commitment and entrepreneurship of Indigenous Australian business owners.

Here in the Northern Territory, businesses owned and operated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are growing rapidly across a range of industries.

This year’s theme of ‘Boundless Possible’ highlights that anything is possible here in Northern Australia, like the Gumatj in Arnhem Land will use 65 hectares of their traditional land on the Gulkula escarpement for the development of a Space Centre. Yolngu people will benefit from being involved the space and tourism industries.

Over the border in Camooweal the traditional owners there have applied their traditional knowledge with the help of modern science and industry to develop a range of products that use spinifex grass.

Anything is possible for Indigenous Australians who are looking to start or grow a business.

I want to ensure that the young people of today can take up future opportunities. That is why, I am determined to work with families and communities to make sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children get the best start through a good education.

Here in the Northern Territory, too many children are not attending school regularly and are getting caught up in the justice system. I am today calling on governments, families and communities to turn this around.

We can’t create jobs and business opportunities without the local workforce.

EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Morrison Government’s strong economic management is creating an environment where we can deliver more jobs and economic growth to ensure prosperity for all Indigenous Australians.

With about 300,000 additional jobs created in 2018-19, employment grew by 2.6 per cent

But we also have to ensure that this growth in jobs is being realised across our nation, across industry and in a way that is leading to a generational improvement in employment outcomes.

Earlier this week I travelled to Ampilatwatja, a small culturally strong community in central Australia with a population of just over 400 people.

90 per cent of the population here is Indigenous – and the personal median weekly income is $235.

I was in Ampilatwatja to hand over the title to more than 3,000 hectares of land as part of a native title settlement in the area to the traditional owners.

It was a significant milestone, and the culmination of a long journey for the Alyawarre people that recognised that their traditional ownership of the land is uninterrupted and everlasting.

The grant ensures that the traditional owners control more of their traditional lands while still retaining the pastoralist’s capacity to effectively manage Ammaroo Station and incorporate the former stock routes and reserve into the Pastoral Lease.

This is economic empowerment – while looking to maintain and protect current economic activity.

It is entrusting Indigenous Australians to make decisions that will benefit their communities and people.

Land security is economic security.

And from economic security comes the ability to put in place the foundations that will lead to economic growth, job opportunity and better security for Indigenous Australians.

That’s why today it is announce my intention to prioritise the finalisation of grants of land for an additional 15 Indigenous land claims in the Northern Territory.

This follows recommendations made by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner to Parliament earlier this year.

The Aboriginal Land Commissioner’s Report covered 16 land claims recommended for grants —some of which were lodged nearly 40 years ago.

That is 40 years of lost economic opportunity and empowerment of Indigenous Australians at a local level.

It’s time we took action – and put focus on resolving these land claims.

It’s time that we put the focus on the economic potential of this land as happens elsewhere around Australia.

This will be a process to determine the details on each individual claim, then we can move forward on finalising these longstanding grants.

Sadly, these outstanding agreements are outliving some Indigenous Elders, this happened in Ampilatwatja.

Through land security communities can determine how they build economies, develop new jobs, preserve and promote language and culture.

Potential is unrivalled here in the Northern Territory – we have the power to be transformative – across generations.

All governments should get on board with this approach and renew their commitment to improving economic outlooks and prosperity.

This is the path we have in front of us – and to best understand the significance of what we’re proposing we must understand where we currently stand.

 

INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT

The most recent census found that approximately 223,000 Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over were participating in the labour force – this represents a participation rate of 52 per cent, compared with 77 per cent for non-Indigenous Australians.

I see that Indigenous businesses and business owners have a vital role to play in closing this gap – when we find success in business it inevitably leads to greater opportunities for our people.

I acknowledge that this gap between the employment rate of Indigenous Australians and other Australians of around 25 percent is too large.

We know that a lack of adequate skills, job opportunities and transport problems are the most significant barriers to finding employment for Indigenous Australians –

We also know that these can be overcome through tailored programmes designed in partnership with communities; and for broader support for business, which I will come too later.

There are, however, some more systemic issues that contribute to this gap in employment.

Education, Health, disability, suitable housing, caring responsibilities and geographic distance are also contributing to a lack of participation in the labour market.

There are also increasing reports of more Indigenous Australians opting not to participate in income support programs.

Over the past decade, there have been some 347 Indigenous-specific employment projects, and 165 providers in the Northern Territory.

From this we have seen 5,301 employment commencements; and of this 2,964 of these job seekers have achieved 26 weeks in employment.

For too long we have looked at statistics such as these and focused on the negatives – on the gap.

It’s time we challenge this thinking. While we know that there is more to do; we need to celebrate the successes of 5,000 more people in work, with almost 3,000 of these in longer-term employment.

We owe it to those who are having a go and reversing long entrenched disadvantage.

This is shifting the pendulum – for the good.

In order to build on this, we must look to partner with those on the ground, who have a deep seeded understanding of pre-existing barriers, and learn how their involvement and engagement is providing tailored support that addresses the need of the individual.

During my visit to Ampilatwatja I met with several Community Development Program providers that were making a real difference in the local community.

Through the CDP they had developed local programmes to assist individuals with their job searching as well as practical community driven solutions to improving school attendance.

Recently announced CDP reforms are delivering more protections for vulnerable job seekers and provide more pathways to work – moving more people off welfare and into jobs.

When I was out on the ground – those who were the beneficiaries of the CDP were sharing with me their dreams and aspirations – the hope and empowerment they were getting through participation in the programme.

This is proof that the CDP is transforming lives and going some way to the economic empowerment of individuals and communities.

From one job can come one business – and from that business can come the next opportunity to break the cycle of welfare and dependence and transform someone’s life.

We should be promoting these successes, talking about the good that is stemming from this programme and sharing the real stories of those who are seeing such a positive change in their lives.

We want to see this economic and employment development continue – that’s why we have launched the 1,000 Jobs Package - a wage subsidy to support the creation of 1,000 new jobs for Community Development Program (CDP) participants across remote Australia.

I encourage you to look at how you can utilise this programme in your communities.

Let’s take the 1,000 jobs before us in this package and ask ourselves how they could be the genesis for the next 10,000 Indigenous jobs – through the creation of new and innovative regional businesses that transform and empower communities.

It is important that we work together to ensure Indigenous job seekers continue to be supported; and importantly have access to long-term sustainable jobs.

 

OTHER GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

I’m aware that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to addressing the employment challenges before us – and that’s why the Morrison Government is refreshing Closing the Gap with a genuine commitment to partnership with state and territory governments and, for the first time, the Coalition of the Peaks.

Unfortunately, for too long, governments of all persuasions have made Indigenous policy for Indigenous Australians, rather than with us, with Indigenous Australians.

As Minister for Indigenous Australians I am committed to challenging this norm; and to realise a new environment and paradigm where programmes and policies meet the needs of the individual and of community – where ownership drives engagement – and where outcomes are measured in a positive and meaningful way.

Later today, the National Indigenous Australians Agency, in partnership with Supply Nation, will be running a Trade Fair.

This event will showcase the diversity and depth of businesses in the Northern Territory.

They range from innovative energy solutions to delivering advanced construction, as well facilities management capabilities for the Australian Government.

Events such as this are valuable in connecting and strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs, the private sector, industry, government and non-government organisations.

It is through these partnerships that we will realise greater opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

While government doesn’t hold the sole responsibility for creating jobs - we do play an important role within these partnerships.

In the financial year 2019-20, the Morrison Government is investing $685 million through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to support jobs and economic development opportunities.

The Indigenous Procurement Policy drives demand for Australian Government agencies to ensure Indigenous businesses are providing goods and services in supply chains.

Since 2015, 307 Indigenous businesses registered here in the Northern Territory have won 1,385 contracts worth more than $351.6 million thanks to demand driven by the Australian Government’s IPP.

When Australian Government money is to be spent buying goods and services, it is a requirement that for certain contracts an Indigenous business is approached first. This includes contracts between $80,000 and $200,000 and all contracts to be delivered in remote areas of Australia including Darwin.

From 1 July this year a new contract value target for the Australian Government is being phased in to ensure Indigenous businesses have greater opportunity to win contracts of a higher value.

In addition, from July 2020 Indigenous participation targets will apply to more industries sectors. This will create even more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to be included in the supply chain of major government procurements.

This is directly strengthening the economic wealth and social wellbeing of Indigenous Australians living in the Northern Territory.

The Morrison Government is also committed to the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.

It is a ten-year plan to ensure the Indigenous business sector continues to grow and thrive by improving access to business and financial support.

It includes funding for a strategy that provides:

• $27 million to improve Indigenous businesses’ access to capital;

• $22 million to establish two Indigenous business and employment hubs in NSW and WA, and a third hub to be established by 2020;

• $19 million to expand microbusiness support and finance in regional and remote Australia; and

• $6 million to pilot remote Indigenous business incubators.

 

The Morrison Government is implementing policies to ensure Indigenous Australians have the same opportunities for business and employment as other Australians.

To support the growing Indigenous tourism sector – we are also delivering a new four-year $40 million Indigenous Tourism Fund.

The fund will be established to support Indigenous tourism enterprises to start-up and grow.

Public input is currently being sought on the design of this fund and public consultation will inform the final design of this funding, which we will launch next year.

We want to find out what is important to Indigenous tourism enterprises and reflect that feedback in the final design of the Indigenous Tourism Fund.

I would encourage those tourism operators here today to provide feedback and your views while here at the Trade Fair.

 

CONCLUSION

‘Boundless Possible’ is a true reflection of Indigenous economic potential.

Be it the dreams and aspirations of Indigenous Australians as business owners or job seekers.

The Morrison Government acknowledges the important place Indigenous businesses hold in the Australian economy – and we want to see such businesses grow and prosper.

I encourage everyone here today to look at how we can support you to grow your business and provide new employment opportunities for all Australians.

I love coming to Darwin, and to the Northern Territory because there is such strong self-belief; there is great ambition for what tomorrow will bring; and there is a great determination to realise a better future.

Government can merely support these aims – it is up to you to work, invest and drive these outcomes – I have tremendous faith and optimism that as Indigenous Australians we can continue to go from strength to strength.

 

Thank you.

 

Authorised by Ken Wyatt, Member for Hasluck

ENHANCING COMMUNITY SAFETY IN ANGURUGU AND ALYANGULA

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians

Member for Hasluck

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

7 November 2019

 

ENHANCING COMMUNITY SAFETY IN ANGURUGU AND ALYANGULA

 

Communities on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory are becoming safer with the opening of a new police station for Angurugu and upgraded police facilities in Alyangula.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said the $11.5 million investment from the Morrison Government has made these facilities possible so police can be closer to the communities they serve.

“Remote policing relies on community trust and cooperation and helping police spend more time in communities will have far reaching effects,” Minister Wyatt said.

“These modern and state-of-the-art facilities will allow the Northern Territory Police to enhance their police effort on Groote Eylandt and deliver the important role they have in the community.”

“One of the highest priorities of the Morrison Government is to keep Australians safe, it is important that we work in partnership with other levels of government to ensure that community needs are met and that citizens are kept safe.”

“These new and upgraded stations will provide better support for operations like the Dog Operations Unit that will have received a total of $4.8 million from 2016 to 2022 so it can continue to have a significant impact in fighting crime and minimising the use of illicit substances.”

“The stations will increase collaboration between the NT Police and community initiatives, further strengthening safety outcomes for people living and working in Angurugu, Alyangula and surrounding communities.”

“This includes programs like the Community Night Patrol that help resolve conflicts and disputes to reduce the need for law enforcement action.”

“The improvements to police facilities on Groote Eylandt are part of the broader Australian Government commitment to work collaboratively and in partnership with the Northern Territory Government as well as Elders and local decision makers to achieve safer communities.”

 

Media contact: Luke Nayna, Senior Media Adviser, 0438 231 687

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

ALYAWARRE PEOPLE RIGHTS RECOGNISED OVER MORE THAN 3,000 HECTARES OF LAND

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians

Member for Hasluck

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

6 November 2019

 

ALYAWARRE PEOPLE RIGHTS RECOGNISED OVER MORE THAN 3,000 HECTARES OF LAND

 

Traditional owners in the region around Ampilatwatja in central Australia have today received the title to more than 3,000 hectares of land as part of a native title settlement in the area.

This significant milestone is the culmination of a long journey for the Alyawarre people and recognises that their traditional ownership of the land is uninterrupted and everlasting.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said the grant is recognition not only of the deep connection with country, but the enduring presence of Aboriginal owners who hold the knowledge of their ancestors.

“This is country that Alyawarre people have looked after, lived on and travelled through since time immemorial,” Minister Wyatt said.

“It is a place with important sites, stories and lore that keeps the land alive for Indigenous people today.”

“This land grant expands the parcel of Aboriginal land on which the community of Ampilatwatja sits and finalises the native title settlement over Ammaroo Station.”

“This point has been reached through pragmatic and cooperative negotiations that have reached a fair result for everyone involved.”

“Native titleholders agreed to surrender any exclusive native title rights in the former stock routes and stock reserve in return for acquiring this title under the Land Rights Act to an area currently part of the pastoral lease.”

The title to the land is now held by the existing Aherrenge Aboriginal Land Trust under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The grant is supported by native title parties, the Northern Territory Government, the Central Land Council and Ampilatwatja community members.

“This will give traditional owners control over more of their traditional lands while still retaining the pastoralist’s capacity to effectively manage Ammaroo Station and incorporate the former stock routes and reserve into the Pastoral Lease.”

“The Morrison Government looks forward to seeing the Alyawarre people benefit from this land, just as their ancestors have done and as their descendents will continue to do so.”

ENDS

Media contact: Luke Nayna, Senior Media Adviser, 0438 231 687

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

 

 

Working to reduce youth suicide in Alice Springs

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians

5 November 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

WORKING TO REDUCE YOUTH SUICIDE IN ALICE SPRINGS

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, has used his visit to Alice Springs to meet with and hear from local organisations who are working to address youth suicide in the region.

“It was very beneficial to hear about local programmes that are addressing mental health, suicide and emotional wellbeing here in Alice Springs,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Suicide prevention is a key priority for the Morrison Government, and I’m particularly focused in listening to and learning from people who are on the ground, every day, working with those in need.”

“We must look at what’s currently working, and build upon that work to ensure that communities are empowered to address these issues directly.”

Indigenous Australians are nearly twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to commit suicide.

“These are stark statistics, and we as a government must work with service providers and health care professionals to close this gap.”

With the day focused on addressing suicide in the region as well as delivering better outcomes for children and youth Minister Wyatt met with a number of organisations.

“These organisations are focused on providing mental health and suicide prevention activities, with a very clear focus on improving the health and future of Indigenous youth and their families,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The Morrison Government remains focused on working with leaders, young people and communities throughout Australia to identify what more can be done and how we can best provide support.”

ENDS

Media enquiries: Luke Nayna, Senior Media Adviser, 0438 231 687

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

EMPOWERING INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS THROUGH BUSINESS

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians

31 October 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

EMPOWERING INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS THROUGH BUSINESS

 

Throughout October, Indigenous businesses have showcased the many ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people create jobs, bring financial security to their families and communities, and contribute to the growth of the Australian economy.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt, said Indigenous Business Month has provided a platform to demonstrate the depth of the Indigenous business sector.

“Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners are getting on with the job and have proven the value they bring to our economy,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Indigenous Business Month has been a resounding success and the initiatives being delivered under its banner have far-reaching effects.”

“Today I was in Cairns, and had the opportunity to jump on-board with Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel as they celebrated one year of operation. It is a great example of an Indigenous business sharing our culture with locals and tourists alike, and demonstrates the power business can play in empowering communities and providing job opportunities.”

“The Morrison Government’s commitment to grow Indigenous businesses is unwavering.

“In this financial year alone, we are investing around $550 million through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to support jobs and economic development opportunities.”

“We are working to drive demand for Indigenous businesses and employees through the Indigenous Procurement Policy as well as strengthening the supply side to enable Indigenous Australians to take up more opportunities than ever before.”

“We can see our policies having a real impact. In October there were 55 new applications and 47 new businesses approved and registered with Supply Nation. Those businesses will have the opportunity to win more and larger contracts, particularly with the Commonwealth Government.”

“Also during Indigenous Business Month, more than 40 Indigenous business owners were supported to attend the World Indigenous Business Forum in Vancouver, Canada, to share knowledge with other countries and explore export opportunities for our Indigenous companies.”

“Australia proudly secured the next World Indigenous Business Forum for Darwin which will bring more attention to this burgeoning sector and showed Australia’s Indigenous business sector can match it with the best on the world stage.”

“To strengthen supply, the Morrison Government’s ten-year Indigenous Business Sector Strategy is improving access to business support and capital, fostering networks and improving data.”

“This Strategy includes programs like funding Indigenous Business Australia to deliver business support nationally and making $6 million available to 12 Remote Indigenous Business incubator pilots and $21 million to Many Rivers to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote Australia to develop, establish and build small enterprises.”

“We are also creating more jobs in regional Australia through the 1,000 jobs package which provides salary support to businesses to take on and retain staff, allowing them to grow and invest back in their local communities.”

“The practical on-the-ground support provided by the Morrison Government is creating a solid foundation for sustained growth in the Indigenous marketplace that will last for generations,” Minister Wyatt said.”

Indigenous Business Month is run by the Alumni of Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class.

  

Media contact: Luke Nayna, Senior Media Adviser, 0438 231 687

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.