The Federal Government’s $1.5 billion Remote Jobs program won’t keep remote Indigenous Australians off the long-term unemployed list, the Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion said.
“The government claims this is about building jobs and creating sustainable communities but these announcements fail to deal with the real issue that there is no real economy in many remote communities,” Senator Scullion said.
“We have to change the way we engage with these communities so they can build their economies.
“Otherwise, we will continue to see our First Australians that live in remote communities go through jobs churn via seasonal or short term work, if they have a job at all given there are few industries in these areas.
“I visited Ramingining in East Arnhem this week where they are already involved in the crocodile industry.
“The eggs are collected at Ramingining which provides work and income for a few people for a few weeks.
“All value adding such as hatching, growing the crocodile and the resulting meat, skins and tourism opportunities occurs outside the community.
“This has to be changed.
“We need to work with the community to create more value-adding opportunities and grow the industry in Ramingining.
“This will create more jobs for a longer period instead of creating jobs in Darwin.”
Senator Scullion said the government was also trumpeting that it would create a single jobs provider for remote communities but this was a false note.
“Job providers have been part of the problems in remote communities and having a single jobs provider won’t solve issues of compliance that see many job seekers not properly engaged.
“There has to be auditing for job providers to ensure job seekers are getting real training and real assistance, not just a tick and flick approach.
“The Coalition supports plans to build more jobs in remote communities but we need to find ways to create sustainable industries and a real economy in these communities,” Senator Scullion said.
Download media release:
remote jobs release release.pdf