Councils welcome new remote jobs program to Close the Gap

The Federal Government’s new Remote Jobs and Economic Development Program (RJED) has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).

The new $707 million employment program is expected to create around 3,000 jobs in remote Australia in partnership with First Nations communities, with the goal of closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

ALGA President Cr Linda Scott said local governments – many of which are facing widespread skills shortages – will be interested to partner with the Government on the RJED.

“In regional and remote communities, local government is often the biggest employer, and our 2022 Local Government Workforce Skills and Capability Survey shows councils are the largest employer of First Nations people in the Northern Territory, with around half of the workforce being Indigenous Australians,” Cr Scott said.

“As a major employer of First Nations people, we believe councils should be an eligible employer through this program, and we look forward to working with the Government to ensure it delivers on its promise.”

Cr Scott said as the closest government to our communities, councils have a key role to play in reducing Indigenous disadvantage.

“Councils are committed to co-designing programs with all levels of government – and all partners – to increase education and employment opportunities and reduce the barriers experienced by many First Nations people,” Cr Scott said.

“We are dedicated to building a more prosperous and inclusive future for First Nations people based on genuine and respectful partnerships.”