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Coordinators General Network Infrastructure Workshop – Setting the Scene Brian Gleeson Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services Sydney, 12 December 2011
Outline • The expectations of the National Partnership • Consideration by Coordinators General • Some of the key infrastructure issues • Recommendations and status • Reasonable expectations from CGRIS?
Expectations of governments • National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Services: • Outcome 16 (a) standards of services and infrastructure to be comparable with non-Indigenous communities of similar size, location and need elsewhere in Australia; • Output 17 (i) - the identification of gaps in priority local infrastructure Government investment will be prioritised and coordinated to ensure each priority location has the infrastructure and services that support and sustain healthy social norms so people can reach their potential and communities can thrive. Minister Arbib, 2R speech, Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services Bill, 25 June 2009
Consideration by CGs • Staff housing – paper from FaHCSIA (October and December 2010) • centralised property management • establish a framework or a range of principles for ongoing investment in accommodation • get a better understanding of demand • improve mix of public/private investment • set up enabling environment (town planning, secure tenure etc) • Infrastructure – presentation by Infrastructure Australia (Dec 2010) • Land tenure and land administration reform – paper from OCGRIS (May 2011)
Key infrastructure issues • land tenure and serviced land availability • agreement on ongoing responsibility for governance and maintenance of the facility • protracted community consultations • budget constraints/flexibility • uncoordinated approach by governments and small scale of projects (lack of economies of scale) • blow outs caused by remoteness and lack of contractors • tensions between delivery and other agreed policy objectives (eg local employment)
Recommendations and status • Report 1 – Recommendation 4.1: • That the Australian Government Departments of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government; and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, in consultation with relevant State and Territory departments, investigate the feasibility of a single whole of government contracting entity to plan and manage construction of community facilities in remote locations, with a scoping paper to be presented for consideration by COAG in the second half of 2010.
Recommendations and status • Report 1 – Recommendation 4.1 status: • NT – five infrastructure working groups • QLD - Remote Indigenous Land and Infrastructure Program Office to address land and infrastructure planning issues • SA – significant work has been undertaken to identify key priority projects in water, energy and road projects, cross government committee to plan and drive • WA – trialling new procurement options, including the best way contracts can be either bundled or divided to maximise Indigenous employment opportunities and involvement and development of Indigenous enterprises.
Recommendations and status • Report 2 – Recommendation 4: • Noting the work underway within the Australian Government to assess infrastructure needs within priority communities, it is recommended that future Local Implementation Plans should identify local infrastructure priorities to inform the development of a cross-government infrastructure investment plan. • Status: • Whole-of-community infrastructure plans are in place or will be developed in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. • Sustainable planning processes are in place or being developed in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia.
Recommendations and status • Report 4 – Recommendation 4: • It is recommended that changes to land tenure better reflect the range of issues, including service delivery, land use planning and economic opportunities, as well as ensuring effective property and asset management into the future. Work currently being done by State and Northern Territory governments to reform land tenure and planning systems and ensure application and enforcement of relevant standards should give priority to Remote Service Delivery communities and aim to be completed by the term of the National Partnership in 2014. • Status: • BOMs asked to identify specific land related issues impacting on service delivery in their jurisdiction and coordinate appropriate strategies to address these matters and escalate where necessary.
Reasonable expectations? • Governments seek secure tenure over land and service in accordance with a long term plan for infrastructure development (including essential services) in communities • Capital works be phased so as to facilitate the sustainable development of local employment opportunities – whole of community infrastructure plans • Announcements of new projects not be made until after appropriate consultation and planning has occurred • Agencies fund the “true cost” of delivering services to remote communities including all associated employee costs, such as staff housing, repairs and maintenance costs for the life of the asset and ongoing costs such as lease payments and shire rate charges • Governments develop innovative approaches to securing sufficient housing, including partnering with the private sector
Questions? Here is Edward Bear, coming down the stairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. (from A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh)