Initiative 8: Foster Indigenous well-being and prosperity

what is the issue?

There is an urgent need to redress the social and economic disadvantage of Indigenous peoples.

why is this important for communities?

Every Australian wants a fair society and our communities are concerned about the welfare of our First Australians.

What do we know?

  • Initiatives aimed at closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the areas of housing, health, early childhood development, education, economic participation and remote service delivery are vital if our nation is to overcome the economic and social costs of entrenched disadvantage in our Indigenous communities.
  • Water and sewerage infrastructure provision has not kept pace with population growth in remote Indigenous communities. As a result, in some jurisdictions new housing and other new buildings cannot be connected to services due to a lack of capacity. There are seven towns in the Northern Territory that are at capacity now and others that are closely following.
  • Family well-being is supported by local government in Indigenous communities and is a major focus of municipal service and infrastructure delivery. To achieve the best outcomes for communities, appropriate resources must be provided for these service-delivery functions.

Local government proposes:

Foster Indigenous well-being and prosperity by:

  • continuing to provide at least $5.5 billion over the next decade to address the needs in Indigenous communities particularly in the areas of overcrowding, homelessness, poor housing conditions, and a severe shortage of housing in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.
  • renewing the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and acknowledging the need for increased local engagement and use of local services and resources.
  • taking urgent action to develop new arrangements for funding in Indigenous communities to ensure that services are meeting the needs to communities, including in cities and towns, and that there has not been a shifting of responsibilities and costs on to local government.
  • committing to consult and work with elected local government Indigenous councils on policies and programs aimed at meeting the needs of local communities including, where necessary, the removal of barriers on land tenure for councils so they are better placed to provide services and maintain facilities and infrastructure in Indigenous communities.

ECONOMIC BENEFIT: ALGA’s analysis indicates that this investment would have a cumulative Gross Domestic Product benefit of $1.66 billion by the third year and create up to 5,300 new jobs.

Councils across Australia have banded together to support ALGA’s call for ‘1% + Partnership Programs’. This calls for the next Federal Government to restore core local government funding of Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue and add funding for partnership programs where agreed.

Here's how councils would spend the additional funding to help their communities:

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