The Australian Government will create more local jobs and better economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians under a renewed and expanded National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Julie Collins announced the new National Partnership Agreement today.
“The Australian Government is committed to increasing economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians so they can fully share in the benefits of our strong economy,” Ms Macklin said.
“This new partnership will build on the good work that has already happened in this area by strengthening government procurement policies to help boost Indigenous employment and business opportunities.”
Under the new Agreement, from 1 July 2014, the Australian Government will expand the Indigenous Opportunities Policy to cover all Commonwealth procurement processes above $5 million (and $6 million for construction) regardless of location.
This will create new opportunity for Indigenous businesses to leverage off the purchasing power of government.
Public sector Indigenous employment targets of 2.6 per cent, currently due to expire in 2015, will be extended in the new Agreement to ensure Indigenous Australians have greater access to local jobs.
The Australian Government will also require Indigenous workforce development strategies and targets as part of future major funding agreements with the states and territories for Indigenous programs and services.
Ms Collins said the Government has written to all state and territory governments urging them commit to the new National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation.
“The new partnership will build on the achievements of the current Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation,” Ms Collins said.
“The current Agreement has helped boost employment opportunities for Indigenous people, including the creation of 1500 jobs in government service delivery.
“This progress is really encouraging, but we know much more needs to be done to reach our target of halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2018.
“Creating more local jobs and better economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians is a key priority for the Australian Government and fundamental to Closing the Gap.”