Terms of Reference
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; and
the employment and enterprise opportunities in regional and remote Indigenous
The committee is required to report to the Senate twice a year. The
committee has previously reported to the senate on two occasions: in September
2008 and June 2009.
As at 16 November 2009, the committee had received a total of 110 submissions.
Eighteen of these were received since the committee last reported in June 2009
and are listed at appendix one. An additional three supplementary submissions
were received from people or organisations that had previously made
submissions. Submissions are available on the committee's website at http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/indig_ctte/index.htm.
In the lead up to the committee's third report, public hearings were
held in Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Broome, Narrogin and Perth in Western
Australia and in Sydney in New South Wales.
The committee has previously held public hearings in Adelaide, Alice
Springs, Katherine, Darwin and Canberra and conducted site visits in the
Broken Hill, Cobar and Dubbo in Western New South Wales;
Amata in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia;
Mutitjulu, Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and Alice Springs in Central Australia,
Milingimbi in Arnhemland in the Northern Territory; and
Fitzroy Crossing, Derby and Balgo in Western Australia.
A list of organisations and individuals who appeared at its public
hearings during this current reporting period appears at appendix two.
The committee intends to visit regional and remote Indigenous
communities and hold public hearings in Queensland during 2010.
Structure of the report
The report contains five chapters, of which this is the first. The
second chapter provides an update on the Commonwealth policy framework guiding Indigenous
Affairs in Australia. The third chapter reports on progress made on matters
that the committee undertook to monitor in its last report.
Chapter four reports on the committee's findings in Western Australia while
chapter five focuses on New South Wales.
The committee appreciates the time and effort of individuals and
organisations who provided written and oral submissions to the inquiry. Their
work has assisted the committee considerably in its inquiry so far.
The committee would especially like to thank community elders and
members, and staff of agencies and organisations who spoke with them during
this reporting period. The committee is also grateful to the many individuals
and organisations they met with in each location they visited.
The committee would like to thank people and organisations in Narrogin
and the Wheatbelt Region of Western Australia for their advice and assistance
in preparation for the committee's hearing in Narrogin.
The committee welcomes further submissions both in writing and orally.
Submissions do not have to be long or detailed and may set out a community's or
an individual's concerns in dot points. Additional details of how to make a submission
are available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/wit_sub/index.htm
The committee is also keen to encourage submissions from a broad range
of people, especially people living in regional and remote Indigenous
communities. For people who are not able to or do not want to make a written
submission, the committee secretariat can arrange for a submission or evidence
to be transcribed over the telephone via the committee's toll free number 1800
728 963. Interpreters are also available.
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