Release type: Speech


Ayers Rock Resort Announcement


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

Check Against Delivery National Centre For Indigenous Excellence15 October 2010 Sydney

I would also like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Land on which we meet, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.

I’m delighted to be here today for this exciting announcement. It's been a long time coming.

Can I start by congratulating the Indigenous Land Council (ILC) for their vision, innovation and foresight.

This wonderful venue we stand in today, the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, was funded and built by the ILC and is changing the lives of thousands indigenous people from both the Redfern area and across the country for the better.

The NCIE employs 46 staff and its gym already has over 1400 members, 70 per cent of which are Indigenous. In its first six months of operation the Centre has had over 4000 young people participating in programs that focus on fostering Indigenous excellence.

Today, the ILC is again leading the way with their acquisition of the Ayers Rock Resort.

The announcement by the ILC, in partnership with Wana Ungkunytja, will provide Indigenous Australians in Central Australia and nationally with long term education, training and employment opportunities.

A particularly pleasing aspect of today's announcement is that the ILC's new training facility in Yulara will support not only Ayers Rock Resort but also the broader tourism and hospitality sector, providing training for 200 Indigenous people a year from 2013.

I have said many times, the best way to solve Indigenous inequality is through education and training. Experience shows that one of the most effective ways to do this is through the development of Indigenous business.

This partnership puts the Government’s Indigenous Economic Development Strategy in action – indigenous organisations embracing enterprise and business opportunities to build prosperity and economic independence.

Critically it will also build employment pathways for indigenous people; from school into training and through to careers in the sustainable tourism sector.

The Gillard Government is proud to support this initiative and will work with the ILC to implement an employment and training strategy through their National Indigenous Tourism and Training Academy.

Can I thank the ILC Board for their persistence and hard work in making this possible. In particular David Baffsky, Shirley McPherson and Sam Jeffries.

I look forward to seeing the success of the training facility and to working with the ILC and Wana Ungkunytja for the long term benefit of Indigenous people everywhere.