Giles puts Aboriginal job schemes on hold


p2314-Adam-Giles-cartoonBy ERWIN CHLANDA
“The Chief Minister has listened, he has done what we asked him to do, and he needs to be congratulated for that,” says CLP candidate for Araluen Steve Brown after Adam Giles put on hold the controversial job schemes for Aboriginal people in the building industry.
Mr Brown, a vocal critic of the schemes, says their review announced by Mr Giles (cartoon by Rod Moss) will be “an opportunity to redesign the policy from the round up.
“Initiatives of this kind should never be put together by the bureaucracy, but with input from the people. That’s how it should have been done in the first place.”
Meanwhile Mr Giles said in a media release that the “Remote Contracting Policy will be evaluated to ensure it is achieving its aims and not disadvantaging any Territorians.
“The policy was focused on increasing employment of Aboriginal Territorians so they can take full advantage of business and economic opportunities.
“While the policy is achieving good employment outcomes, I have been listening to the community and I am aware that some businesses in Alice Springs have concerns.”


  1. So Steve Brown suggests “an opportunity to redesign the policy from the ground up” probably one that has no reference to employment of Indigenous people or reference to Indigenous people at all.
    So, under such policy they can be ignored and overlooked altogether (as usual) as if they don’t exist.
    I wonder how many Indigenous apprentices you have ever had in your electrical business, Mr Brown?
    And as far as Chief Minister Giles listening to you, he’s just full of it. There was no substance to any of this all along.

  2. Unfortunately the media release was no better worded than the policies themselves. Having read the media release I am unable to decipher as to if the provisional sum initiative forms part of the remote contracting policy. So what exactly is on hold and up for review?
    Personally, I am skeptical that this media release represents a back down of absurd policy but more likely is creating some “breathing space” in an election year.
    Certainly the polling I saw today would suggest that the Giles led minority government needs all the breathing space they can find / buy.

  3. NOTE to Comment writers: Your comment will not be posted if we cannot contact you on the email address from which you are submitting the post. If an email we send to the address bounces back, or we don’t get a reply when we seek ID of the writer, we will delete the comment. We permit pseudonyms but I need to know the identity of the writer.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor.

  4. Adam Giles should have been at the briefing on this policy in Alice Springs last week (he was in town on that day) as a local member and the Chief Minister. His non presence shows a lack of leadership and passion for this policy and indigenous economic development.
    A big backflip!

  5. @ Joel: The Chief has stated publicly that he will listen. I believe that was what was being asked. It is certainly the message that I was asked to carry. I know of and share your concerns around these policies. From here on its up to us to make sure those concerns are vigorously represented to the “evaluation”.
    With an election looming I am quite certain that it is in the Government’s interest to achieve a positive outcome.
    I know that many have doubts but let’s give the process a chance. If it fails I will be among the first to stand up and say so. In the meantime we’ve asked the Chief to act, he has acted, I don’t believe you can ask more of a Government than that.
    @ Centralian: I will be seeking a policy that employs “Locals” no matter what their racial background because anything less than that is “racist”!
    I have a fundamental belief in the equality of all. I have never hired, fired or declined an employee on on the basis of race. And I never will.

  6. Thank you Mr Brown. Unless you already know it and are ignoring it, you should inform yourself about Affirmative Action.
    To a degree and some credit to Giles and his government, it appears this is what was attempted, but he and his government was scared off and lost the courage to follow through.
    If you meddled with Affirmative Action regarding women in the workplace, you would no doubt find yourself in hot water from that sector, and rightly so.
    It is written into legislation to address disadvantage of certain sectors of society for a range of reasons.

  7. I wonder if Steve Brown knows what affirmative action is and why it is adopted by compassionate governments. Racism refers to keeping people down or failing to give them a leg up. It is not relevant to affirmative action.
    And if we are to refer to Aboriginal people as locals does that mean white fellas are to be called outsiders?

  8. Re: Dalton Dupuy Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm
    Affirmative Action is a frequently abused term, by the lazy, including governments, trying to avoid reasonable justification for their decisions.
    Without specific justification for Affirmative Action I deem it just as more racial prejudice.
    Affirmative Action is successful where persons appear basically to suit criteria, yet are refused access to various basic services or employment with statistical racial, sexist, or other ISM identifications.
    Affirmative Action claimants need to justify usage where reduced educational or employment history exists.
    Affirmative Action is about raising standards, not lowering them.
    Affirmative Action claimants need to demonstrate what alternative practical remedial actions are taken, or rejected, to raise education, training, experience standards of those failing statistically, to meet expected minimum standards.

  9. Steve, Do you know if the provisional sum is also on hold and up for review? From what I have been told – it is not.
    Open tenders are still out with the provisional sum, no addendums have been made.
    So from what I can see, Giles media release resolves little other than moving a review forward, which was always in the remote contracting policy.
    It is important that some certainty of this is forthcoming, as the provisional sum policy is what brought so many people to the industry “forum”.

  10. @ Joel: Sorry about the slow response I’ve been busy. I believe the word “review” was used for both these policies. I will get some verification ASAP.
    Clearly though, Government would have to continue the bonus in cases where the contracts had already been let or were on the verge of being let before the review was announced.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here