The funding announced by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt MP, to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and businesses will strengthen community-led preparations and responses to COVID-19 at a critical time for vulnerable remote communities.
Australia's minerals industry is privileged to partner and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities across the country, and the minerals industry recognises it has a special responsibility to keep remote and very remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities safe during the pandemic.
Under the National Resources Protocols, the industry has ceased non-essential contact with remote communities and has special arrangements in place where workers are resident near remote communities, along with other measures to keep people safe.
Many companies also supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to return safely to their remote home community.
This is a time for partners to support each other, and companies are also stepping up where possible to assist Traditional Owner and Indigenous organisations to meet local needs such as housing and essentials – including making remote facilities available for health and housing needs and providing essentials goods.
The minerals industry also welcomes additional support for the Indigenous business sector. The sector is proud to be a significant and long-standing customer of Indigenous businesses, and the support announced today recognises and will sustain the unique characteristics of Australia's vibrant and diverse Indigenous business sector.