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Bilateral Agreement on Indigenous Affairs between the Commonwealth and Western Australia 2006 - 2010

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Bilateral Agreement
Sub Category:Framework Agreement
Location:Western Australia, Australia
Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership
Summary Information:
The Bilateral Agreement on Indigenous Affairs between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Western Australia was signed in July 2006 by Prime Minister John Howard and Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter. The four-year agreement is designed to establish a framework for communication between the governments and set priorities for the governments to work together.
Detailed Information:
Duration of agreement

The agreement is effective for five years, and will be subject to joint review after two years.

Key outcome areas

The agreement prescribes the following key outcome areas:

Law and order and safe places for people

The Governments of Western Australia and the Commonwealth (the Governments) commit to
- work together to support initiatives that promote safe Indigenous communities
- work with prescribed communities to implement the Regional Petrol Sniffing Strategy for the Central Deserts Region of Australia from 1 January 2006. This Strategy provides for (amongst other things) the roll out of Opal fuel to affected communities and the provision of a permanent police presence where appropriate to deter trafficking.
- consider the need to implement similar strategies in other communities in Western Australia

Skills, jobs and opportunities

The Governments commit to an Indigenous Economic Development Framework for Western Australia, which is directed at the following outcomes areas:

- Growing sustainable employment opportunities for indigenous people. This will be achieved by (1) developing Indigenous capacity for work (through, for example, improved literacy and numeracy); (2) expanding Indigenous employment opportunities (through, for example, linking Indigenous people with major employers in prescribed regions); (3) developing an inter-generational 'jobs culture' (through, for example, publicizing Indigenous successes)

- Building investment and asset ownership in indigenous communities. This will be achieved by (1) supporting Indigenous people to unlock the economic value of their resources (through, for example, providing more opportunities for land management); (2) assisting Indigenous asset management (through, for example, developing their financial management capacity); (3) assisting Indigenous home ownership (by, for example, improving their access to bank finance)

- Fostering opportunities for business development in indigenous communities. This will be achieved by (1) facilitating business links for indigenous enterprises; (2) enabling the growth of indigenous enterprises (by, for example, increasing indigenous business access to working capital)

The above goals are to be met through the implementation of a Priority Action Plan which sets out strategies for their achievement. Priority Action Plans are to be developed annually.

Healthy and strong people

The Governments commit to
- work together within the context of the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
- improve primary health care services for Indigenous people (including through the further streamlining and integration of the provision of primary health services)
- improve early childhood health outcomes (through, for example, building a holistic model for early childhood service provision in remote areas)

Sustainable environmental health and infrastructure

The Governments commit to
- achieving one level of service delivery for the provision of housing, infrastructure, essential and municipal services by 30 June 2008 (so as to reduce duplication between levels of government)
- work together to progress the transfer of responsibility and agreed levels of funding in the area of infrastructure delivery from the Australian Government to the Western Australian Government. This will also lead to greater involvement of local government in service delivery to Indigenous communities.

Land, sea and culture

The Governments commit to achieving complementary policies in this area. In relation to native title policy, the Governments agree to seek an agreement on the terms of a native title financial assistance package (provided by the Commonwealth Government to meet the Western Australian Government's compensation liability). The Governments also agree to explore options for improving the effectiveness of Prescribed Bodies Corporate and Native Title Representative Bodies.

The Governments also agree to support Indigenous art through for example reconsidering their funding models for this area.

Strong leadership and governance

The Governments commit to improving community governance. This will involve 'working with indigenous communities to improve access to skills and resources necessary for effective service delivery'. It will also involve the trialing of new approaches to community and Government business management. More urgent action will be taken in relation to communities identified as being in acute crisis.

Arrangements for intergovernmental co-operation between the Governments

Shared Responsibility

The Governments agree to collaborate to create a 'whole of government framework for Indigenous affairs in Western Australia'.

The Governments agree to collaborate to facilitate the development of Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs) and Regional Partnership Agreements (RPAs). This will involve consultation between governments, conducting joint meetings with communities, working on SRAs and RPAs together and establishing processes for monitoring and reviewing the outcomes of those agreements.

Joint planning and administrative arrangements

To oversee this agreement, the Governments agree to:
- joint Ministerial oversight and reporting
- the creation of a Peak Steering Body, the Intergovernmental Indigenous Affairs Group, to review on the progress of the agreement
- the creation of a State Coordination Group for the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the actions referred to in the agreement
- the use of regional forums (involving Indigenous Coordination Centre Managers and Western Australian Regional Managers)

Evaluation

The governments will agree on benchmarks and milestones against which this agreement can be monitored. Where the governments agree on further opportunities for joint action, these may be added to the agreement.

Related Entries

Agreement
  • Agreement for the Provision of Housing, Infrastructure and Essential Services for Indigenous People in Western Australia
  • Agreement on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service Delivery between The Commonwealth of Australia and The Government of Queensland
  • Overarching Agreement on Indigenous Affairs between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of South Australia
  • Overarching Agreement on Aboriginal Affairs between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of New South Wales
  • Organisation
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • State of Western Australia - Signatory

  • References

    Resource
    Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC) (2006) Bilateral Agreements
    Department of Familes, Housing, COmmunity Services and Indigenous Affairs Bilateral Agreement on Indigenous Affairs Between The Commonwealth of Australia and The State of Western Australia 2006-2010

    Documents

    Document
    Bilateral Agreement on Indigenous Affairs between the Commonwealth and Western Australia - ( PDF)

    Glossary

    Framework Agreement | Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) (Native Title Act) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia)

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