Chapter Five

Economic Development



INDIGI Asbestos Demolition Removals NSW

Australia's first Indigenous Startup Weekend

Indigenous Startup Weekends

Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation

Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation

"Fostering economic development in Northern Australia, where 43 per cent of land is held under native title, must not be a wasted opportunity."  -  Bruce Martin

Gunyangara township lease to boost economic development, Northern Territory

In 2016, the first township lease on the mainland Northern Territory was approved by the Northern Land Council for the Arnhem Land community of Gunyangara.

Find out more on the Gunyangara township lease local solution

Economic development

Indigenous economic development is at the heart of the national agenda. We are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to recognise the tremendous potential of the Indigenous business sector and create more opportunities for growth.

key points
  • All governments are prioritising Indigenous economic participation – driving demand for Indigenous businesses while also helping to build supply and capacity.
  • The Australian Government’s new Indigenous Procurement Policy has seen Government contracts valued in total at $284.2 million awarded, a 45-fold increase on previous years.
  • Indigenous businesses are active across all sectors of the economy
  • Land is a significant asset base for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Governments are working on how they can better support communities to leverage their land assets for economic development, as part of the mainstream economy.

National policy to drive improvement in economic development

Governments are collaborating with Indigenous leaders and communities to provide better opportunities for Indigenous Australians to engage in the economy and increase employment prospects.

This follows a collaborative effort from governments to improve Indigenous land administration, enabling Traditional Owners to attract private sector investment and finance to develop their own land with new industries and businesses.

In addition, the Commonwealth is looking at ways to apply Indigenous Procurement Policy principles to other forms of Government spending, including grants and is developing an Indigenous Business Sector Strategy to build economic empowerment and independence.

Indigenous businesses around Australia are doing fantastic things from mining and construction to renewable battery storage and fibre optics. However, there is a clear gap in the rates of self employment of Indigenous people compared to non-Indigenous people – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are around three times less likely to be self-employed than non-Indigenous Australians.

More information is available in the full Closing the Gap Prime Minister's Report 2017.

Local solutions

Social enterprise in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

“We work closely with our local remote Indigenous communities to understand the aspirations of the community and collaboratively identify ways to bring them to reality.” - Alastair King, ALPA CEO

Find out more on the social enterprise in Arnhem Land local solution

More local solutions are available on the resources page