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Government and industry working in partnership to increase Indigenous prosperity.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism


The Working in Partnership - Building a Skilled Local Workforce Workshop being held in Broome today aims to address education and training issues for Indigenous Australians in the Kimberley. Government, industry and Indigenous leaders will use the two-day meeting to develop a plan to improve Indigenous education and training pathways to build sustainable employment in the region.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP said: "Industry will be asked to confirm their commitment to improving the long-term employment prospects for Indigenous communities within the Kimberley region.

"The Australian Government has made a commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage and to achieve this vision requires leadership at all levels of government and industry.

"I congratulate participants for meeting this challenge and taking action to address increase Indigenous workforce participation. It is encouraging to see the different levels of government, industry and communities working in partnership to increase Indigenous employment and economic prosperity."

The Resources Division of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism administers the Working in Partnership Program, or WIP as it is commonly referred and is funding this Workshop. The WIP Program aims to support and encourage cultural change which is taking place in relations between Indigenous communities and the mining industry and promote effective partnerships which benefit all stakeholders.

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, today also announced the appointment of Mr Gary Powell to the newly created role of North West Australia Regional Facilitator.

Mr O’Connor said: “This newly created position will work across Government and with industry to improve education, training and employment outcomes as well as identify the best way for Indigenous people in the Kimberly to take advantage of the economic opportunities on their


“Mr Powell brings valuable experience from working with Indigenous communities and leaders across Australia, including the Kimberley to the new role. The Australian Government is firmly committed to halving the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment within a decade by providing better education and employment opportunities and we are keen to work with industry to help achieve this goal.”

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

02 Dec 2008

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The Kimberley Workshop has been jointly organised by the Australian Government Departments of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET), and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in consultation with the Kimberley Land Council and other organisations including the Australian Petroleum Production Exploration Association (APPEA), the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy, and the Master Builders Association.

Further information on the Working in Partnership Program is available at

Media contact: Ferguson: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

O’Connor: Campbel Giles - 0407 972 900

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