Meeting Communique: Indigenous Advisory Council, May 2015

Meeting Communique: Indigenous Advisory Council, May 2015

Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Advisory Council
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The former Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, met with the Indigenous Advisory Council (the Council) on 27 May 2015 in Canberra. This was the Prime Minister’s seventh meeting with the Council. He was joined by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion MP, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Hon Alan Tudge MP.

The Prime Minister thanked the Council members for their advice about how to achieve key government priorities in Indigenous Affairs to date and emphasised the value of their advice.

The Council provided the Prime Minister with an update on the deliberations of working groups established to consider key issues in Community Safety, Education and Employment and Economic Development.

The Council strongly supports the Government’s focus on making communities safer and on targeting the drivers of violence. In particular, the Council considered options for promoting implementation of domestic violence action plans, the importance of promoting zero tolerance to violence through consistent messaging, consistency in the sentencing of offenders, combatting alcohol and drug abuse and supporting victims of domestic violence and their families.

In relation to education, the Council provided further advice on mechanisms to ensure school attendance. The Council emphasised that not sending children to school should be considered child neglect, and this needs to be part of a strong communications approach. 

The Council welcomed the Government’s new Indigenous Procurement Policy which will increase demand for Indigenous businesses from Commonwealth agencies through setting procurement contract targets. The creation of opportunities for economic development was seen as a critical and welcome step in the right direction.  Council members also welcomed initiatives to increase Indigenous employment in the public sector to 3 per cent, as well as in the private sector through the Employment Parity Initiative. Council members emphasised the need for the States and territories to take similarly strong action in these areas. The Council also provided feedback on the changes to remote employment arrangements to be implemented from 1 July 2015 which will ensure that job seekers are engaged in work-like activities. 

The Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council is a directly appointed, non-representative group which provides advice to the Prime Minister on Indigenous issues. You can contact the Council via email at indigenousadvisorycouncil@pmc.gov.au, or by writing to:

Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council

PO Box 6500

Canberra ACT 2600