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The Australian National University

1995

Document: Discussion Paper

Economic analysis indicates that a socially optimal level of mining may not be occurring under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA). This paper suggests that this is either because transactions costs are hindering negotiations between miners and Aborigines or because some strategic behaviour problem is present.

Document: Discussion Paper

The establishment in July 1994 of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) within the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) has allowed Islander political leaders great latitude in shaping Torres Strait's political and economic destiny. Given that the majority of communities in the Torres Strait region are located on separate islands, the TSRA faces the issue of accommodating quite different community dynamics with overall regional considerations in mind.

Document: Discussion Paper

Performance indicators, which are simply variables that help to measure change, have been highly contentious in the area of Aboriginal health. This discussion paper focuses on the introduction of performance indicators for Aboriginal Health Services by the former Department of Aboriginal Affairs and subsequent attempts by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) to implement their collection.

Document: Discussion Paper

The 1980s saw some significant changes in the income distribution in Australia and the United States of America (US). The purpose of this paper is to examine how these changes have affected the relative income status of Indigenous males in each country. In 1980, the average income of a Native American male was 58.3 per cent, and that of the average Australian Indigenous male was 50.5 per cent of their white counterparts. By the end of the decade, the relative income position of the two Indigenous groups had reversed.

Document: Discussion Paper

Implicit in the aims of the Aboriginal Employment Development Policy (AEDP) and the Native Title Social Justice measures is a need to upgrade the occupational status of Indigenous workers and increase their spread across the range of industries. This need is acutely felt in the Northern Territory where Indigenous workers are disadvantaged by low occupational status and over-concentration in a few industries.

Document: Discussion Paper

This paper examines developments and dilemmas in relations between local governments and Indigenous Australians over the last quarter century. It establishes a framework for analysis based on differences in local government systems, circumstances and populations. It then examines two sets of developments in relations which have occurred in contrasting circumstances. The first is ongoing poor relations in incorporated local government areas, focusing on a complex of issues surrounding land ownership, rates and services.

Document: Discussion Paper

This paper describes and critically examines five resource development agreements signed between mining companies and Aboriginal communities between 1992 and 1994 in the Northern Territory and north Queensland. These include the Mt Todd Agreement, the McArthur River Agreement, the Cape Flattery-Hope Vale Agreement, the Mapoon-Skardon River Agreement and the Placer Pacific-Kalkadoon Tribal Council Agreement.

Document: Discussion Paper

During recent years, Aboriginal communities in Australia have become increasingly involved in negotiating mineral development agreements with mining companies and relevant State agencies. Two factors influence the extent to which Indigenous interests can achieve benefits from such negotiations. The first is the bargaining power available to them associated, for example, with land ownership. The second, is the ability of Aboriginal communities to both mobilise such leverage and extend it.

Document: Discussion Paper

The recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody identified tourism as a potential source of private sector employment and enterprise development for Aboriginal people. The question arises as to how realistic this expectation is, given the findings of the 1994 Aboriginal Employment Development Policy (AEDP) mid-term review that Aboriginal people are reluctant to actively seek work in this sector of mainstream employment.

Document: Discussion Paper

There is little documented evidence that the Native Title Act 1993 (NTA) hampers mineral, oil and gas exploration and production because few genuine attempts have been made to work within the existing framework. From a public policy perspective and utilising an economics framework, this paper discusses the rationale and associated risks of the strategy of interested parties in challenging the effectiveness of the NTA.

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