Service needs highlighted

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Different indigenous communities need different area assessments, according to the latest research in the Pilbara and Kimberley.

The University of Western Australia has undertaken the first detailed analysis of Government service provisions and expenditure in the Kimberley and Pilbara and its impact on indigenous communities.

Commissioned by the State Government, the report showed outcomes differed significantly between areas in the two regions.

Lead researcher Professor Paul Flatau said the research high-lighted the need for local area assessment.

“For example, there are vast differences in education, health and employment outcomes between sub-regions,” he said.

“The report also highlights that health expenditure accounts for the highest share of indigenous-specific Government spending in the regions.”

Examining 12 sub-regions over the 2015-16 financial year, the researchers assessed areas relating to governance, leadership and culture, early childhood development, education and training, health, economic participation, home environment and safe and supportive communities.

“We need to know what services are needed, where they are needed, who they are reaching and, most importantly, what change they effect,” Professor Flatau said.

Regional Services Reform unit executive director Paul Isaachsen said the study highlighted the need for Government policies and programs to take into account the significant demographics, geography and economy between the regions.

“We need a collaborative approach between Government agencies, organisations and communities to develop place-based services that meet the needs of Aboriginal people living in the regions,” he said.

The full study has been published on the Government of Western Australia Regional Reform Unit website.

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