It’s The Economy, Stupid: Economic participation only way to Close the Gap

Nyunggai Warren Mundine
14 July 2020 | AP11
It’s The Economy, Stupid: Economic participation only way to Close the Gap

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians exists for one reason — too many Indigenous people do not participate in the real economy. The key areas of economic participation are having a job and setting up a business. Both depend on commerce and private enterprise.

The answer is the same as before: economic participation.

This paper assesses where Indigenous policy is, 12 months into this term of the federal government. It is clear that Indigenous affairs has lost its focus on economic participation. With the establishment of the National Indigenous Australians Agency, policy control appears to have shifted from the Prime Minister and Minister to the bureaucrats. There is a waning focus on economic participation; this focus must return, particularly in the light of the immense economic, social and political disruption we are seeing on a global scale since the COVIC-19 pandemic arose in March.

Indigenous policy needs to get back to these fundamentals with a focus on school attendance, jobs and creating the environment for Indigenous business creation — especially in remote and regional Indigenous communities. Governments can leverage the crisis to take the radical action that has been too hard in the past; including regional economic development, welfare reform, and targeted and deliberate action to move people from welfare to economic participation and use local workforces for local jobs.

Latest Publications

Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia
Peter Kurti
17 August 2020 | AP13

‘Cancel culture’ campaigns in Australia are intended to erase elements of our history and to deny the record of those who helped found this country. The impulse to impose a revised interpretation of the past poses a danger that threatens to corrode civility, destroy civic trust, and fuel community discord. The drive to eradicate offensive words, images, and opinions from…

READ MORE
Industrial Relations in a Post-COVID World
Judith Sloan
13 August 2020 | AP12

The economic shocks of COVID-19 and the associated government responses have rendered aspects of our industrial relations regulations unworkable and/or perverse. While the system of regulation was initially a federated role in which the states played significant roles, the federal jurisdiction is now dominant. Apart from Western Australia, all other states have referred their industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth.…

READ MORE
CIVIL SOCIETY AFTER COVID: On re-building a virtuous civic culture
Peter Kurti
17 June 2020 | AP10

Australia faces an unprecedented economic and social challenge. In addition to economic recovery, the equally crucial work of civic repair is required as part of the social transition out of the Covid-19 pandemic. A strong civic culture will be integral to rebuilding prosperity. Classical liberalism appropriately affords great importance to the liberty of the individual. However, that liberty finds its…

READ MORE
The 12-Week Window: Coronavirus crisis Australia didn’t have to have
Salvatore Babones
02 June 2020 | AP9

The coronavirus crisis was ‘the crisis that Australia didn’t have to have’. This paper lays out a detailed weekly timeline of the crucial first twelve weeks of the crisis, which were Australia’s window of opportunity for fighting the virus at the border instead of in the community. Had Australia treated the virus as border security threat, it could have quarantined…

READ MORE
Mitigating the New Cold War: Managing US-China trade, tech and geopolitical conflict
Alan Dupont
22 May 2020 | AP8

This paper concludes that the linked US-China trade, technology and geopolitical conflicts have precipitated a new Cold War.  Dr Alan Dupont, outlines that the world’s two major powers are wrestling for strategic advantage in an increasingly bitter contest to determine which of them will be the pre-eminent state of the 21st century.  He presents nine recommendations to improve the relationship.…

READ MORE