Groundbreaking research released today by the Business Council of Australia shows that closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the Goulburn Valley would deliver sizeable economic benefits and increase living standards for the whole community.
The research, conducted for the BCA by Access Economics, quantifies economy-wide advantages from improving the quality of life of Indigenous Australians in this region of Victoria, including:
- The regional economy being 1.3 per cent – or $61 million – larger in 2030
- Annual increases in economic activity over the 20 years from 2010 to 2030 totalling $216 million (in today’s dollars)
- On average everyone in the region being over $3000 better off in 2030
- Total regional employment being 1.3 per cent higher by 2030.
The BCA’s Deputy Chief Executive Melinda Cilento said the modelling demonstrated how closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage was not just an issue for remote Australia – it is a critical issue for our regions and our urban centres as well.
“The research findings are based on the many facets of Indigenous disadvantage that contribute to poorer health and labour market outcomes being successfully addressed,” she said.
“By showing that everyone in the community benefits from better outcomes, we hope to encourage people to recognise both the overall value and their role in making it happen.”
The BCA identified engagement with Indigenous Australians as one of its policy priorities in 2008. “The council wants to see all Australians able to enjoy, and be part of, the nation’s prosperity,” said Ms Cilento. “Our partnership with the Goulburn Valley community is about putting the spotlight on a particular region where different sectors can work together to make real and lasting change.”