Ambitious Indigenous Jobs Plan for Northern Territory
23 February 2015 at 10:18 am
The Northern Territory Government has announced an ambitious plan to double the number of Indigenous Australians employed in public service.
Chief Minister Adam Giles announced recently that his Government planned to meet the newly set target by 2020.
Giles, who is Australia’s first Indigenous head of Government, said the current level of Indigenous employment in the Northern Territory was unacceptable.
“Around 30 per cent of the Territory population is Aboriginal and yet on coming to Government we found that only eight per cent of the public service is of Indigenous heritage. This is unacceptable,” Giles said.
“I have announced today that I want to see the proportion of Aboriginal public servants double from eight per cent to 16 per cent by 2020.”
Giles would not reveal exactly how the target would be achieved, simply saying it would be done through a detailed range of initiatives, which would be unveiled in the coming months.
“I want to give Indigenous people an opportunity to have a real job in government and a chance to contribute to breaking the cycle of welfare dependency that has crippled Aboriginal people for too long,” Giles said.
“This is all part of setting up the enabling framework that will empower Aboriginal people and give them a voice.
“We are empowering Aboriginal Territorians to take back control of their affairs and driving reform in an effort to improve educational outcomes, as well as employment and business opportunities.”
Earlier this month Giles was reportedly dumped as Chief Minister in a late night coup and Primary Industries Minister and Member for Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe, announced that he would be taking over.
Westra van Holthe said there had been "discontent with the direction of government" for some time.
However, after more than a day of speculation, Giles emerged from a meeting of his Ministers saying he would be staying on as Chief Minister and Westra Van Holthe said he now supported his political leader.