24 March, 2011

Indigenous Employment in the Murray Darling Basin

The linked well expressed submission by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council strikes a chord. My mind was focussed on this issue during my time as Chairman of the Darling Matilda Way Sustainable Region Advisory Council. The central conclusion I came to was the need for economically sustainable job opportunities in those river towns with significant aboriginal populations. The cotton industry's aboriginal employment initiative was a great example of what can be achieved.

The major impediment was identifying those industries that were economically sustainable in what are mostly remote areas. Almost by definition, irrigation in "river towns" is a stand out and this aspect needs to be given full weighting in consideration of the socio-economic impact of the proposed water reforms.
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