[contact details removed]
[Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation logo removed from RTF version.]
Indigenous Economic Development Strategy
Draft for Consultations due 17th December 2010.
Kalumburu is home to around 360 to 400 Indigenous and 50 Non-Indigenous people in
the very remote Kimberley WA having road access in the dry season only.
The population is prone to some degree of seasonal variation with anything up to 10%
of the population being out of the community on a temporary or semi permanent basis.
Children (0 to 14 years) number 158 and make up almost 44% of the Indigenous
population. Young people (15 to 24 years) number 73 and represent a further 20%,
meaning about 64% of the population of Kalumburu is under the age of 25. Adults (24 to
44 years) 23%; older adults (45 to 64 years) 10%; and seniors (over the age of 64) 3%
make up the balance. The population is growing at around 3.5% or 10 – 12 persons per
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Census of Population and Housing.
After reading the Indigenous Economic Development Strategy Draft for consultation and
having worked in indigenous communities across all states in remote areas of northern
Australia for seventeen years and having worked in developing countries for another
fourteen years I see the strategy as too general.
A Indigenous economic development strategy draft should separate very remote
indigenous communities from the economic development approach to where other
estimated indigenous populations are ie Major cities, inner regional, outer regional and
There is a vast difference between remote and very remote communities.
It is critical for capacity development to have a separate economic development policy
for the very remote communities and that government works directly with these
Kalumburu up to the 30th June 2009 had been designated by Government and received
funding as a Community in Crisis.
As of 1 July 2009 Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation because the designation as a
Community in Crisis was removed by government, Kalumburu was no longer a
community in crisis and did not receive that funding. It is that easy to label and remove
labels and funding if you are government.
Kalumburu is still Community in Crisis.
Prior to 1 July 2009 various government departments advised KAC for the reduction of
services provided by KAC and that they would be out sourced to service providers.
The service providers were to deliver CDEP, Housing and Municipal Works a separate
contract was for power, water and sewerage to the Kalumburu community.
The CDEP service provider from 1 July 2009 is (CEA) Community Employment
Australia Ltd based in Cairns Queensland. There has been considerable confusion
amongst Kalumburu people on what type of CDEP participant they are.
As a Centrelink CDEP New Start participant, and if these participants have a job they do
not understand why they do not get paid from KAC as they consider the Centrelink
payment as a benefit similar to a sickness or other benefit. The outcome is once they
realise they have to work for this money they no longer come to work as Centrelink
continue to pay them if they work or not. This is the same for any training carried out by
CDEP participants once they realize they are not going to be paid other that New Start
money they do not come to the training.
No economic development strategy can compete against a welfare
system that pays people to do nothing.
Aboriginal Housing Services WA has taken sixteen months to have a housing service
provider come to Kalumburu this service provider has been sourced from South
Australia and has a huge job to catch up on in getting tenancy agreements and
maintenance work up to date.
Previously KAC had a MSP contract that maintained the community houses and kept
records of tenants including an environmental health team that cleared blocked drains
and pumped out septic tanks. All these local people and supervisors no longer have a
job at Kalumburu.
Kimberley Service Providers are the only service providers that at 1 July 2009 were in
the community ready to start their contractual obligations of service provision for
Municipal Works and power, water and sewerage.
Kimberley Service Providers ‘has a non-indigenous supervisor on the ground full time
working with ex KAC CDEP personal who are paid to work full time under the municipal
contractual agreement with FaHCIA.
These changes to the previous funding arrangements with KAC have widened the gap
further for people of Kalumburu, not closed the gap in any way.
With a Service Provider approach Kalumburu people have lost jobs in the housing
maintenance sector, lost jobs created in CDEP projects and have fewer people working
in the municipal services area.
The Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation has lost the funding that it previously
administered to carry out these services. The total loss of funding is shown in the 2009-
2010 Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation and Controlled Entity Audited Financial
The difference of income between 2009 and 2010 shows the financial loss of
($4,150,722.00) to the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation. KAC now only receives
funds to provide youth and aged care services. KAC does not see that the loss of over
$4,000,000 is being better spent in the community by the use of service providers.
The realities of this loss of funding to KAC and the community is that the CDEP
participants are still in a state of confusion, housing maintenance service is nearly
nonexistent and all tenants are on a rent free holiday because tenancy agreements
have not been signed.
What we are now seeing is the cyclical effect of various government approaches that
has dogged indigenous communities since their inception in the 1970’s and 1980’s as
was the case at Kalumburu. The attempt to integrate Indigenous Australians into the
wider Australian society by using welfare and relocation (urbanisation) has failed as has
happened at Halls Creek and recently where Oombulgarri has been designated as a
community that is no longer viable. People from there may be relocated to Wyndham or
??? Some of those displaced people from Oombulgarri are now sharing accommodation
in Kalumburu. What is happening unintentionally is that governments are actively
displacing Indigenous people in the very remote Kimberley from their traditional lands
by using inadequate and flawed previous policies. As more very remote people are
displaced and move to regional urban areas only survivor groups will remain unless
acknowledgements and financial assistance is given by government to develop
indigenous economic development strategies and use the traditional lands for this
Kalumburu remains a community in crisis.
It would seen then that various development models have not worked in isolation and
that even a combination of development models has also not worked. A holistic
approach to community development is necessary. People’s rights need to be
recognised, land issues need to be made considerably simpler for traditional owners
and Aboriginal Corporations that are lease holders are able to make use of the land for
economic development for the people that live here.
Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation has a 99 year lease over 166,000 hectares of land
yet the 400 plus people of Kalumburu live on a small Aboriginal Lands Trust area of less
than 12 hectares surrounded totally by their traditional lands that they cannot make use
of. Traditional owners of this land and KAC are obstructed at every move to develop
enterprise on their own land.
There needs to be recognition that indigenous people have an affiliation with their land
and sea areas and have a right to live on that land and benefit from tourism and other
developments of their land.
Indigenous economic development in very remote communities
Access and Equity rights call for the Government to recognise the special needs
of very remote communities
The Government needs to create a special unit tasked to allocate resources of
financial, human and infrastructure to very remote communities.
The special unit has the flexibility to access and combine revenue from different
funding sources for Indigenous Economical Development projects.
The Government Special Unit needs to engage directly with each very remote
community individually at the local level not regionally.
The Government needs to assist very remote communities to develop realistic
commercial community development strategies for capacity building and economic
development with a bottom up approach.
Community economic `development strategies should aim to develop human
capacity and link social capacity development to the economic development of the
Aboriginal Corporations that service the very remote communities should be the
organisations tasked with the coordination of indigenous economic development and
social capacity development.
Very remote communities governed by an Aboriginal Corporation should have their
structures clearly defined into four areas of development and capacity development;
they are Economic and capacity development, Social capacity development,
Infrastructure development and Environmental development. All need to be fully
resourced by governments including human, financial and infrastructure.
Governments should provide resources for the recruitment of a suitable management
team of commercially competent development and capacity building orientated
professionals to manage/oversee the indigenous economic development strategy in
each very remote community.
Accommodation should be provided for staff developing indigenous economic
businesses in very remote communities.
Targets should be set for commercially economical development projects, exit plans
should be made from viable projects by non-indigenous managers to have
indigenous management to take over the ownership and management of the
Measurement of Economic Development Strategy Initiatives’.
Collaborative approach between stakeholders.
Transparent communication between stakeholders.
Clearly defined partnerships and obligations of every stakeholder.
Developed time frames for each of the economic enterprises.
Sufficient resources financial, human and infrastructure are provided by government
to initiate economic development projects through to fruition.
A long term commitment by government to continued capacity development and
provision of resources.
The numbers of local indigenous people engaged in the enterprises.
What Indigenous Kalumburu people want from economic development.
A full time job of between 30 and 40 hours a week at Kalumburu.
A reasonable pay for the work to be done.
Reasonable schooling for their children.
A better job than CDEP for their kids.
To be able to develop enterprise on their own land.
Equality and opportunities.
[Image of map removed from RTF version. Map shows possible economic development
opportunities around Kalumburu as follows: Deep sea fishing, picnic beach, corocdile
lookout, barramundi fishing, Zygaret lookout, Kwini rock art, Longini camp, monger
retreat, gorge cruise, WWII planes, Uraro lookout, Weeneeni spa, swimming hole,
mission museum and Nalawari waterfall.]
The above map indicates the potential and diversity of enterprises which are
planned to be the foundation of economic development here at Kalumburu.
How can this be achieved?
This can be achieved by creating an Indigenous Economic Development Initiative (pilot
project) at Kalumburu to implement the Kalumburu Pathway by the River 2009- 2020
Economic Development Master Plan.
[Image of Kalumburu Master Plan removed from RTF version. Image shows the
Community Vision – Kalumburu 2010 as follows: Kalumburu will be a quiet, peaceful
and happy community in which all of its residents: live in harmony; enjoy safe, active
and healthy lives, have access to good education, jobs, housing and healthcare; and
respect themselves, each other and their cultural heritage. Image shows that the master
plan is based on: infrastructure development, environmental development, social
development and economic development.]
A ten year development strategy for Kalumburu was developed last year however the
main ingredients to be able to initiate this strategy are money, money to build
accommodation for development staff, money to pay development staff and money to
build infrastructure for a training facility and enterprises to be operated from, and more
money to develop the tourism enterprise projects that will be sustainable at Kalumburu.
[Image removed from RTF version. Image shows a diagrams of items under the
heading of “Tourism”. The items in the diagram are as follows: Aboriginal art, rock art,
corroborees, mission museum, smoking ceremony, accommodation, kayaking, 4wd
experience, mini golf, joy flights, fishing, bushwalking.]
KAC has already initiated capacity building development projects with ongoing training
in building and civil construction, tourism, aquaponic’s and horticulture. Local artists are
working in a temporary art centre building and have a supervisor assisting them in
establishing and exhibiting in galleries in Sydney and Melbourne.
Under COAG One Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation was allocated twenty million
dollars to alleviate housing and anti-social associated issues at Kalumburu. This money
now sits with WA Housing and will not be expended at Kalumburu as is it now part of
the wider Western Australia State Housing policy funds.
[Image removed from RTF version. Image shows an industrial component of
infrastructure segment of master plan, encompassing tourism, aquaculture, hydroponics
and pet food, comprising of a worm farm, a pet food facility, storage area, fish tanks,
hydroponic vegetables, fishing platform and fish cleaning area; cooking/BBQ/smoking
area, eatery and fish feeding platform, office and accommodation areas and hydroponic
commercial crops – herbs.]
My suggestion is that the COAG 1 Housing money be re-allocated to Kalumburu
Aboriginal Corporation for Indigenous Economic Development as planned for
These funds could be released to KAC over a five year period or as needed if
circumstances required more funding be injected at any particular time. KAC has not
been successful in submission writing and has only received funds from Lottery’s West
to assist with one staff salary. Other funding avenues approached were not interested
in funding Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation.
Please find attached a copy of the Kalumburu Development Strategy 2009-2020.
[Image of signature removed]
Chief Executive Officer
Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation.
[Footer: “Bryan Miller Chief Executive Officer Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation and
contact details removed from RTF version.]