Submission to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Remote Employment and Participation

February 2018

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Australian Government’s Discussion paper: Remote Employment and Participation. We support the stated commitment to developing a new model for employment and participation in remote Australia that is community led and tailored to the needs and aspirations of local communities. Any future changes must also be based on building capacity and capability, rather than imposing paternalistic and punitive measures that merely deepen disadvantage and inequality.

This submission draws upon, and supports, the remote development and employment model proposed by the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the Northern Territory (APONT). In the discussion paper it is pleasing to see that elements of Option 1 have been drawn from the model proposed by APONT.  We believe that any workable remote development and employment scheme must have greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander input and control. In our submission, we propose that additional elements of the APONT model should be adopted. Although Option 1 is the superior model offered in the discussion paper, it ultimately does not go far enough in addressing high unemployment in remote communities.

The St Vincent de Paul Society in this submission does not claim any special authority and is not speaking on behalf of First Nations Peoples, but rather standing in respectful solidarity with them in sharing their concerns regarding inequality of employment, and advocating for policies that are developed and delivered in genuine partnership with the communities affected.

 

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