The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes today’s announcement of comprehensive reforms to the provision of employment services in remote communities.

The new Remote Jobs and Communities Program announced by the Federal Government today provides a flexible, seamless, community-driven model of service delivery for remote communities and particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The revenue-neutral nature of the reforms demonstrates the opportunities available to government to achieve more cost-effective and efficient outcomes through the integration of multiple service delivery agencies into a one-stop shop.

Key to the model is the Government’s commitment to building local capacity to ensure employment services are delivered through a permanent presence focussed on matching community, government and industry objectives for increased economic participation in remote Australia.

For the minerals industry, where over 70% of our operations are located in remote communities, the new Remote Jobs and Communities Program provides an opportunity to balance labour mobility and the growth of local economies in a way that increases the participation of remote Australians in mainstream economic activities while valuing their culture and community obligations.

The Government has recognised the critical role of linking education to employment opportunities and to supporting the most vulnerable in communities through youth programs, support for community governance and leadership and enhanced community infrastructure.

The minerals industry welcomes the initiative and urges the Government to maintain the level of resourcing needed to ensure that remote Australians share in the same quality of services available to those in urban and regional Australia.

Further, through our participation on the Remote Employment Services Panel, the MCA has had the opportunity to experience first-hand the need for these reforms.

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