Nyunggai Warren Mundine (pictured), contributing researcher at the Centre for Independent Studies, argues in a new paper that lack of economic participation underpins all areas of Indigenous disadvantage.
He says in a media release: “Too many Indigenous people do not participate in the real economy. Lack of economic participation is the main barrier to achieving parity.
“Jobs, commercial business and welfare reform go hand in hand. You cannot achieve any one of these without the other two.
“It is vital the Federal Government does not lose focus on the main game of Indigenous economic development.
“The shock to the Australian economy from the COVID-19 pandemic makes this even more critical.”
Mr Mundine says it is crucial to build economies in remote Australia, with private sector investment and commercial businesses.
Government, Indigenous people and the private sector need to focus on the real issues to lift Indigenous people out of poverty and have an economic future.
“Without economies and investment in regional and remote Australia there will be no jobs, no businesses – only welfare and social breakdown.”
Mr Mundine says the economic participation effort should be coupled with an imperative focus on both crime and school attendance.
“Those just looking at jail statistics should be targeting a reduction of crime – not a reduction of incarceration,” he said.
“There needs to be a priority refocus on school attendance. You cannot receive an education without attending school – and education is key to both personal and community success.”