Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Mossman Gorge a hub for Indigenous employment

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas, Queensland Senator

A new community hub is opening in Mossman Gorge to provide a central point for local Indigenous people to access support services to keep their lives on track.

Keys for the new Opportunity Hub were presented to the local Hub Manager Roberta Henning by the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today when she visited Mossman Gorge.

The Australian Government has invested $418,000 to deliver the new hub. Ms Macklin said the Opportunity Hub will be run by Cape York Partnerships. The Hub will provide local people with a place to access services such as financial counselling to help people better manage their money; student education trusts to set aside money for their children’s education; tenancy assistance; and parenting support.

“We want to ensure that local people have access to all the support they need so they can have happy, healthy, stable lives,” Ms Macklin said.

“We want to see local people taking up job opportunities in the area. Through this new Opportunity Hub people will get the support they need to keep their lives on track and get ready for work.”

Senator McLucas said the new Hub will also provide an opportunity for five young local Indigenous women to undertake a landscaping project that will count towards their certificates in Conservation and Land Management.

While visiting Mossman Gorge, Ms Macklin inspected progress on the $19 million Australian Government supported Gateway Tourism Centre set to open next year.

This major eco-tourism development will provide greater access to the Mossman Gorge rainforest in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, as well as ongoing employment opportunities in retail, hospitality, tourism and maintenance for local Indigenous people.

“Currently 15 Indigenous people are working on the construction of the centre,” Ms Macklin said.

The $19 million Gateway Tourism Centre is being built by the Indigenous Land Corporation.

It is anticipated that 40 jobs for local Indigenous people during the tourism low season and up to 70 jobs in the high season will be created in areas including retail, hospitality, tourism guiding and interpretation and administration.

“This development and tourism operation provides real opportunities for Indigenous training and employment in Cape York. It shows that local initiative backed by Governments can drive economic development,” Ms Macklin said.

Through the development of the Gateway Tourism Centre at Mossman Gorge the Indigenous Land Corporation is partnering with local leadership group Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku and the people of Mossman Gorge to create significant long-term economic benefits for the local community and the region.

The Australian Government understands that Indigenous economic development and getting people into work are critical to closing the gap in life opportunities that exists between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

The Opportunity Hub and the Cape York Welfare Reform Trial are providing the foundations to help local people stabilise their lives and get ready for work.

A partnership between the four Cape York communities, the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership and regional organisations, the trial aims to restore positive social norms, re-establish local Indigenous authority and support community and individual engagement in the ‘real economy’.

This approach is giving Indigenous communities in Cape York the means and opportunity to take responsibility for themselves and their families.