Investing in Aboriginal wellbeing – Capacity and economic participation

  • The State Budget looks to develop Aboriginal economic participation through a broad range of initiatives
  • The McGowan Government has targeted its investment in Aboriginal communities
  • McGowan Government looking to reset the relationship between communities and the State 
  • This year’s State Budget aims to link the critical importance of building resilience and capacity of Aboriginal communities and individuals with economic participation.

    The Budget targets a number of strategic initiatives in urban, regional and remote settings to improve social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people through partnership and collaboration.

    The intention is to build on existing community strengths and assets, and to ensure that government investment is effective in developing real pathways to maximise opportunities for Aboriginal employment across the economy.

    The overriding features of the Government’s Aboriginal Affairs policy approach reflected in this Budget are:

    • A localised or place-based development approach that encourages community and government collaboration;
    • Rigorous approach to measuring outcomes as a basis for continued public investment;
    • Recognising the diversity of Western Australia’s economy and where Aboriginal people’s culture and society can best leverage economic advantage;
    • Building on native title agreements to ensure long-term economic and social benefits for Aboriginal people; and
    • The McGowan Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy which seeks to boost Aboriginal employment and business opportunities associated with government projects. 

    It is also the Government’s intention to ensure that State investment for Aboriginal wellbeing is strategically linked with existing and future Commonwealth outlays so that returns on overall public investment for Aboriginal people’s development in Western Australia are maximised.

    The following commitments to support Aboriginal wellbeing in the 2019-20 Budget include:

    • $1.3 million to support the West Kimberley Youth and Resilience Hub Project;
    • $6.5 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors program (formerly Aboriginal Community Patrols) which contributes to community safety in 14 locations State-wide;
    • $5 million for Indigenous Land Use Agreements and national parks in the Kimberley region;
    • $7 million over two years to support PCYCs and develop a new sustainability model;
    • $3 million for Carnarvon and Kununurra PCYCs;
    • $388,000 for traditional owner land management activities for the Gibson Desert Nature Reserve;
    • $1.6 million for a culturally appropriate housing facility in Perth for Aboriginal patients and their carers visiting metropolitan hospitals;
    • $900,000 over three years to develop a Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy in collaboration with Aboriginal people;
    • $1.3 million over two years to progress the development of the Murujuga Living Knowledge Centre and Tourism Precinct at Conzinc Bay;
    • $4.8 million over four years for the Enhanced Driver Training and Education Program for regional and remote communities; and
    • $3.6 million to support Aboriginal tourism. 

    For more 2019-20 Budget information, visit

    As stated by Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:

    “This Budget builds on the McGowan Government’s commitment to reset the relationship between the State Government and Aboriginal people to one of a genuine partnership.

    “Developing a partnership model that is primarily focused at the local level is a challenge to both the Government and Aboriginal communities.

    “This Budget demonstrates the Government’s commitment to building a partnership model that is not just sustainable but also one that delivers social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people.”

    /Public Release. View in full here.