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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 181

Senator O’Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 22 December 2004:

With reference to the claim on page 81 of the department’s annual report for 2003-04 that the Roads to Recovery program has created Indigenous employment: by location, what Indigenous employment outcomes can be attributed to the program since its inception.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The issue of indigenous employment was one of the issues canvassed in the review of the programme issued in May 2003.  The statement made in the annual report is attributable to the Roads to Recovery review of May 2003, in particular the case studies.  The finding of the review team was as follows: 

‘Some Councils took the opportunity to link the Roads to Recovery Programme to the Indigenous Employment Policy (IEP) to obtain additional funds.  For example, the Umbakumba Community Council in the Northern Territory leveraged the Roads to Recovery funds with Community Development Employment Programme funds and $51,000 of its own funds to develop the skills and capacity of its isolated community in drainage, kerb and road construction.

The programme resulted in the community being fully kerbed with the construction of over 5.2 km of kerbing.  The skills developed by people in the programme are now being used to create a local construction business’.

Umbakumba Community Council is on Groote Eylandt.

Employment outcomes are not specifically monitored under Roads to Recovery, but two instances where funding was used in conjunction with the former ATSIC are case studies in the review report.  These are Marngarr Community Government Council, near Nhulunbuy, NT and a project undertaken by the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory for several projects on the road which links the Mailuni Community to the Victoria Highway some 62km to the north.  The Community is just east of the WA/NT border.