Aim of the publication
On 19 March 2008 the Senate resolved to appoint a Select Committee on Regional and Remote Indigenous Communities to inquire into, and report on:
- the effectiveness of Australian Government policies following the Northern Territory Emergency Response, specifically on the state of health, welfare, education and law and order in regional and remote Indigenous communities
- the impact of state and territory government policies on the wellbeing of regional and remote Indigenous communities
- the health, welfare, education and security of children in regional and remote Indigenous communities
- the employment and enterprise opportunities in regional and remote Indigenous communities.
Evidence provided in five reports by the Select Committee summarised 17 public hearings and interviews with local organisations and individuals in 13 communities. Site visits or public hearings were conducted in communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland.
The Committee has concluded reporting under its terms of reference in the 42nd Parliament, and all five reports have now been tabled and are available via the following link, including submissions received and transcripts of public hearings:
The Select Committee was required to report to the Senate twice yearly until the end of the current parliament. Recommendations will assist Government Ministers, Government Department policy makers and other interested stakeholders understand: policy impact to date, grass roots issues impacting regional and remote Indigenous communities and the importance of data collection in establishing an evidence base.
Contents of the publication
The Committee made 36 significant recommendations and analysed a range of discrete issues. The Committee’s first report was a progress report and contained no recommendations. The Committee is concerned that the government has not provided a response to these recommendations, and suggests that the following five reference inquiries be referred to committees in the new parliament.
These issues are of concern and the committee would like to see further work undertaken on these matters. The five inquiries are:
- the potential for justice reinvestment in regional and remote Indigenous communities;
- the effectiveness of government programs in providing housing in regional and remote Indigenous communities;
- the extent of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and ramifications for government policy;
- barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education; and
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment programs including business development and microfinance solutions.