Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More jobs, better job opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory

Joint Media Release with:

  • Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
    Senator Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
    Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Lingiari

Aboriginal people in remote communities across the Northern Territory will have greater employment and economic opportunities under a $19.1 million jobs package announced today.

This package is part of the work the Australian Government is doing to act on the priority issues for Aboriginal people living in remote communities in the Northern Territory.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, Minister for Sustainability, Tony Burke, and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Mark Arbib, said the jobs package was the result of extensive consultations with Aboriginal people.

“We have listened to what Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory have told us – they want jobs in their communities with proper wages and conditions and we want to work with them to make this happen,” Ms Macklin said.

“Having a job contributes to better health, encourages young people to get a decent education, and ultimately leads to stronger communities and local economies.”

This package will deliver 50 new ranger positions in the Northern Territory for the Working on Country program which employs Indigenous people to protect and conserve Australia’s precious environment.

Mr Burke said that there are already around 280 rangers currently working in the Northern Territory, and the new Working on Country ranger positions will be in addition to these.

“Working on Country builds on Indigenous traditional knowledge to protect and manage land,” Mr Burke said.

“Rangers help to maintain, restore, protect and manage Australia’s environment and provide sustainable jobs for Indigenous people. As well as providing new job opportunities for Aboriginal people the rangers act as role models and educators for young Indigenous people.”

Senator Arbib said the Government would also improve opportunities for Aboriginal people to get access to existing jobs in their communities.

“Through this package, we will strengthen our efforts to ensure local people fill the jobs available in their communities by providing more traineeships and job shadowing,” Senator Arbib said.

“New ‘Local Jobs for Local People’ Indigenous traineeships will ensure up to 100 Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory are supported to fill service delivery jobs in their communities as these become available.

“The traineeships provide targeted job-specific training for people and offer a period of “job shadowing” so that trainees become job ready through supported on-the-job experience.

“Aboriginal people told us that too often they see jobs left vacant or filled by people from outside their community, when they feel they can do the work and should be given a chance. That’s what this package is all about.”

The package will also increase opportunities for young people who stay at school and finish year 12, with Australian Government support for the Northern Territory Government’s initiative providing a job guarantee to Indigenous students from Territory Growth Towns who complete year 12.

We will work with communities and the Northern Territory Government to ensure that those students also have job opportunities within the Australian Public Service as well as with organisations delivering Australian Government funded services.

This will provide a broader range of opportunities for people who finish year 12 and help young people to see the benefits of a good education.

We will also provide additional opportunities to better connect people to employers, particularly where people have specific skills that can be utilised. Jobs brokers will help connect Aboriginal people with jobs in sectors that have labour shortages.

The Government will extend Indigenous Business Australia’s Indigenous Communities in Business program to two additional communities to help support the development of new businesses and economic activity in remote areas. This will help local people identify and develop business ideas.

The Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said the Australian Government is committed to giving Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory the opportunity to share in our nation’s strong economy and enjoy the financial and social benefits of work.

“We will continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build stronger futures together. We know jobs are key to this work,” Mr Snowdon said.