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Governance and service delivery for remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory: challenges and opportunities

  • Year: 2000
  • Author: Westbury, N; Sanders, W
  • Journal Name: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • Publisher: Australian National University
  • Published Location: Canberra, ACT
  • ISBN: 0731549058
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Northern Territory

This report attempts to identify a way forward on some of the challenging self-governance and service delivery issues facing governments and Aboriginal peoples, by identifying strategic opportunities for change and the development of more collaborative relationships. The authors provide some background on Aboriginal affairs reform dating from the 1970s and the granting of Northern Territory self-government in 1978, and describe the emergence of some rather adversarial relationships in governance and service delivery for remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities during the 1980s and 1990s. The report also examines land rights and local government reform proposals and more collaborative service delivery arrangements already being developed in housing and health. The need for the further development of regional support organisations to assist and service local Aboriginal communities is identified as a critical factor, while acknowledging that in discrete remote communities many services must still be addressed at the individual community level. The authors argue strongly for an incremental, but planned, approach to governance and service delivery reform, rather than grand institutional redesign. Potential implications and ways forward for Central Australia are considered and related recommendations are set out at the end of the report.

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