Well done Michael for speaking up on this issue as …

Comment on ‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’ by Diane Hood.

Well done Michael for speaking up on this issue as a local Indigenous man who has the authority and knowledge to comment.
I do want to address the issues raised by Alice Local about the “big bad shires” which unfortunately are not factual, although I do acknowledge a PR problem we need to do more to address.
The shires (now Regional Councils) have been in place since 2008. At Central Desert Regional Council we have 100% indigenous councillors representing all of our nine communities. One of the key focus areas of council has always been indigenous jobs.
In 2008 when the Shire was created, there were 103 staff positions across the nine community councils. Additional roles, often using consultants, such as accountancy were done from Alice Springs.
The shire grew jobs in the first year to 266.
At the end of our last financial year (June 30, 2017) we had 308 full time equivalent jobs – a 44% growth across those ten years. Our indigenous employment is currently just under 70%, and on the June 30, 2017 was 66%. Some 82% of our roles continue to be on community.
The Regional Council has numerous plant and other assets, most of which reside on communities.
None of the statistics above include the Community Development Program (CDP) activities which are also run by various providers (including council) on all our communities.
This program today focuses on trying to provide the skills needed and to find work opportunities for those who live in communities. Are there enough jobs on communities to support those who wish to work – no there are not.
However continuing to try and provide the opportunity for economic development and increased jobs, is the desire of all levels of government.
Council is proud of its role in creating and maintaining meaningful work and jobs on communities. Can we do more? Yes we can and we will. Our focus is moving to staff development and opportunities to provide career progression.
Diane Hood
CEO, Central Desert Regional Council

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