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
As at 3 June 2009, the committee had received a total of 92 submissions.
Fifty four of these were received since the committee last reported in 2008 and
are listed at Appendix 1. The submissions are also 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 second report, public hearings were
held in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin and Canberra. The committee
also visited several regional and remote Indigenous communities including:
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, Northern Territory; and
Milingimbi in Arnhemland in the Northern Territory.
A list of organisations that appeared at its public hearings and which the
committee visited appears at Appendix Two.
The committee intends to hold a public hearing in Sydney later in 2009
and to visit Kimberley communities and hold public hearings in Fitzroy Crossing
and Halls Creek during 2009.
The committee also intends to visit regional and remote Indigenous
communities and hold public hearings in Queensland in the later half of the
year before the committee is next due to report on 26 November 2009.
Structure of the report
The report contains five chapters, of which this is the first. The
second chapter sets out the Commonwealth policy framework and overarching
governance directing Indigenous Affairs policy in Australia. The third chapter
contains a snapshot of the type of available data on the nature and status of
regional and remote Indigenous communities.
Chapter 4 addresses the Northern Territory Emergency Response and
details evidence presented to the committee and its findings at this stage of
the inquiry. The fifth chapter case studies the impact of state and territory
policies in relation to South Australia and the Northern Territory, the two
jurisdictions in which the committee has had the chance to take evidence from
the state government and from the Commonwealth.
While the committee visited both Western Australia and New South Wales,
it has not had a chance to take evidence in relation to issues raised in these
states and will defer its substantive report on Western Australia and New South
Wales government policy until its next report.
Previous and current inquiries of relevance
Since the committee last reported, the House of Representatives Standing
Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs tabled Open for
Business: Developing Indigenous enterprises in Australia, its report of the
inquiry into developing Indigenous enterprises. The report made 15
recommendations on Indigenous business strengths and competitive advantage, the
role of government, industry and community programs, corporate incentives to
trade and engage with Indigenous businesses and the pilot Indigenous Supplier Development
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Affairs is also currently undertaking an inquiry into community
stores in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with a
particular focus on:
food supply, quality, cost and competition issues;
the effectiveness of the Outback Stores model, and other private,
public and community store models; and
the impact of these factors on the health and economic outcomes
The committee appreciates the time and work of those individuals and
organisations that 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, members
and staff of agencies and organisations who spoke with them during the inquiry
and who were generous with their time and information. The committee is also
grateful to the many individuals and organisations in each location they
visited who worked hard to make the committee's visits possible.
The committee would like to thank people and organisations in Broken
Hill and Dubbo for meeting with them, and the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly and
staff of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs (FaHCSIA) for allowing them to participate in their leadership workshop
The committee would like to thank members of the Mutitjulu community and
staff from Mission Australia for meeting them in conjunction with the Senate
Standing Committee on Community Affairs in Mutitjulu on a Sunday afternoon, and
representatives from Voyages and the GPT Group in Yulara who also met with the
committee on a Sunday afternoon.
The committee's visit to Amata was greatly assisted by officers of the
South Australian government. The committee thanks the South Australian
government and FaHCSIA officers for attending this visit, and local staff and
community members in Amata for allowing access to organisations and the
community. The committee was grateful for the opportunity to visit the Amata Anangu School, and appreciated the tour given to them by staff and students.
Due to rain, the committee was unable to undertake its planned visit to Umuwa
and regrets that it was unable to meet with members of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive and staff from other organisations in
Umuwa. The committee acknowledges the assistance of the APY Executive in
arranging access to the APY Lands.
The committee was grateful for the opportunity to visit Milingimbi in
May 2009 and thanks the Milingimbi community, staff of agencies and
organisations for their time.
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.
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page