Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015
Parliamentary Record 24
Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Thursday 19 November 2015 7415 This Giles government will explore new governance and management options for Kakadu and Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Parks, addressing the economic disparity for local people in some of the most iconic sites in Australia. My Departments of Local Government and Community Services and the Department of Housing work to encourage and develop Indigenous business enterprises. My Department of Local Government and Community Services funds 36 service provider organisations across the Territory, of which 28 are Indigenous organisations, to deliver repairs and maintenance services to homelands. Many local jobs are created because of our support for these organisations. My Department of Housing has strong Indigenous employment in remote repairs and maintenance and tenancy management. These businesses have secured 62% Indigenous employment for repairs and maintenance, and 72% for tenancy management. These are local jobs for local people in their local communities. We are encouraging local jobs for Indigenous people. The Giles government has recently established the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, where for the first time we have a remote procurement policy. Some contracts awarded under this policy were for the upgrade of houses in Docker River. I recently visited Docker River and the local people performing the upgrades on their own homes. That is what the Country Liberals is all about: local jobs for local people in their own country. Aboriginal Bush Traders operating from the Lyons Cottage is a social enterprise initiated by Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation, set up to support local art and community development programs, Indigenous business and employment and training outcomes. I recently toured the operation, which has a retail art centre and art store which sells art, music, books, craft and much more, purchased directly from local artists, Indigenous business owners and community centres. It is 100% not for profit. It held a sundowner for October Business Month with keynote speakers, including the CEO, talking about supporting sustainable social enterprise and strong economic futures for Aboriginal people in the Top End. On the same night it launched Moydra Designs in the retail store. It is great to see enterprise occurring in the Northern Territory, especially with Aboriginal people. October Business Month had a strong focus on women in leadership and Indigenous business. Hundreds, including me, attended the Indigenous Economic Forum. This enabled a focus on realising the potential of our remote communities. It enabled Indigenous businesses to connect with each other, network and renew the focus on Indigenous economic development. The Chief Minister announced that Umbakumba, Bulman, Weemol, Minyerri, Yarralin, Belyuen, Manyallaluk and Titjikala will be connected to mobile phone services over the next three years. This provides great connectedness for our remote communities. It helps us unlock their potential and provides them with a range of possibilities, including business opportunities. The Country Liberals is doing a lot to promote business in remote areas. Since August 2012, the Northern Territory governments Department of Business Indigenous Workforce Participation Initiatives Program has achieved 424 job outcomes and 263 workforce participation outcomes. After three years of operation, the Northern Territory governments Stronger Futures local jobs traineeship program continues to achieve an outstanding employment retention rate of 77%. Some 170 trainees commenced with 131 still employed. Over half of all employees have been in their jobs for at least 18 months or longer. Under the Business in the Bush and Indigenous Workforce Participation Initiatives Programs, the Department of Business will be calling a public grant funding round this month for employment initiatives and projects to commence in 2016. The focus of the upcoming grant round is to track projects that can deliver sustainable jobs and/or labour coordination and mobility, as well as enable initiatives that may require additional resources to maximise outcomes. This year the Northern Territory governments Business Growth program grant budget for 2015-16 increased to over $1m, which has expanded the services offered and opened the criteria to include not-for-profit organisations and Indigenous enterprises throughout the Territory. As of 30 September 2015, 46 businesses received over $200 000, and we have committed to support a further 98 businesses to the value of over $600 000. The Indigenous Business Development Program grant budget in 2015-16 increased up to $1m, supporting small to medium Indigenous enterprises throughout the Territory. As of 30 September this year, nine entities received grant funding of almost $220 000 and we have committed to supporting a further 13 entities to the value of $243 000. Northern Territory government Business Development Officers have commenced a program of Introduction to Business workshop delivery to each of the identified 13 champion communities and regions. As of the beginning of this month, more than 50 individuals have advanced business concepts through attending workshops in Mutitjulu, Hermannsburg, Yuendumu, Ali Curung, Ngukurr and Numbulwar.