This Government is about real outcomes for Indigenous people and a recent evaluation of the previous Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery (NPA RSD) shows it delivered only marginal benefits.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the evaluation found the NPA RSD essentially failed to deliver outcomes in the 29 communities in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.
“The RSD NPA did have some positive results, for instance in reducing overcrowding at a faster rate than in other communities and improving infrastructure and services,” Minister Scullion said.
“However, it failed to fundamentally improve education and employment outcomes in the 29 communities beyond trends in similar communities. The evaluation also highlighted the burdensome reporting requirements associated with the NPA RSD.
“This is unacceptable and a better way is needed.
“We are instead implementing the new Indigenous Advancement Strategy to engage with Indigenous communities in a more direct way.
“Our approach will focus on delivering demonstrable improvements in the Government’s three key priorities of school attendance, employment and community safety and will not be limited to the 29 RSD communities.
“We will significantly reduce the red tape burden on communities and service providers, and provide greater flexibility to tailor arrangements and make decisions at the local level.”
Minister Scullion said that one of the most valuable aspects of the evaluation was the surveys in which local Indigenous people were asked to provide their perspectives and aspirations.
“More employment was the most common aspiration. This provides further support for the Government’s strong focus on Indigenous employment.”
The NPA RSD evaluation combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies and involved in-depth research with stakeholders, a community research study, a survey of local service providers and analysis of outcome data.
The evaluation is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.
Download media release:
2014-07-25 Media release evaluation of Remote Service Delivery.pdf