Government still deciding on Aboriginal leaders
Nominations are still being considered for Aboriginal leaders who will be part of the State’s reform process in the North West, despite the Government having aimed to announce them last month.
On June 4 an expression of interest process started to find four Aboriginal community leaders from the Kimberley and Pilbara to sit on strategic regional advisory councils, which would help inform the process of reform for Aboriginal services.
Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman said the Government had received strong fields of nominations for each council, and it had taken longer than expected to assess and speak to referees.
“This is a long-term plan and it is important that we take the time required to make the right selections,” he said. “Engagement on the reform is well under way, with myself and minister (Helen) Morton meeting with Aboriginal organisa- tions and representatives in the Pilbara and Kimberley in May, June, July and August.”
A cross-departmental reform unit has been established, watched over by senior public servant Grahame Searle.
Expressions of interest for positions on the reform unit in Perth, the Pilbara and the Kimberley closed on July 31.
Mr Searle travelled through the Kimberley last month to meet with communities and visited Jigalong two weeks ago with Ms Morton.
Mr Redman said serious and lasting reform was required to address the disparity between the outcomes for Aboriginal people and the rest of the community.
“The ad hoc approach under successive governments to investment in remote Aboriginal communities will be replaced by prioritising investment in locations that can provide residents with access to education and employment opportunities, quality health services, safe communities and suitable housing,” he said.