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Increased opportunities for economic participation on Tiwi Islands.

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Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 25 August, 2006

Media Release

Increased Opportunities For Economic Participation On Tiwi Islands

The removal of Remote Area Exemptions (RAEs) from the Tiwi Islands has prompted a significant increase in

workforce participation, and has created partnerships which will support people on the Islands to achieve

greater economic independence.

Remote Area Exemptions previously meant that people in areas where there was no labour market did not need

to meet activity obligations to receive welfare. Increased work-related opportunities on the Tiwi Islands now

mean that these exemptions have been removed.

Tiwi Islands Local Government’s Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) has seen over 100

local people who have had RAEs removed join the programme and gain valuable new work skills.

The removal of RAEs has also stimulated further growth in the Tiwi Islands. In partnership with the Australian

Government, the Tiwi Islands Local Government is creating increased capacity by employing more staff and

building infrastructure, including staff housing.

The Tiwi Islands are also benefiting from the Indigenous Community Volunteer programme. The programme

provides volunteers who can transfer their skills to Indigenous communities and organisations and help them to

become economically independent.

“While the Tiwi Islands community is facing challenges—both economic and social—the assistance provided by

the Australian Government is helping them to build a better future,” Mr Andrews said.

“These activities are a part of the Government’s broader strategy to help Indigenous Australians move off welfare

dependence and to achieve economic independence.”

For further information contact:

Sarah Casey 0434 563 589