Business School Topics
Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Wyatt has argued that Indigenous communities must reduce their reliance on government.
Speaking at the Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference at the UWA Business School, Mr Wyatt said unreliability and bad decision-making by generations of governments had led to poor outcomes for Indigenous people.
"Government is inherently unreliable and as soon as we remove the unreliability of government out of Aboriginal people's lives, I think it's a better outcome," Mr Wyatt said.
Governments should be careful to nurture opportunities for growth rather than impose restrictions on Indigenous development, Mr Wyatt told conference delegates.
"More often than not it's government that suppresses those opportunities [for Indigenous communities]," Mr Wyatt said.
"We've still got these legacy issues of government that we're still dealing with. I think at a state government level if we do that, if we have more aggressive policies in the procurement space then there are more opportunities.
"The government is a huge purchaser. Let's set the target and tell government to go and do it and not get caught up in the process."
Mr Wyatt also criticised the Barnett government's decision to close around 150 remote Aboriginal communities, saying these communities were suffering because of a need to find savings in the State budget.
"If you're going to rely on government for future wellbeing, it's inherently unreliable. If you can move further away from being influenced by government decisions the better," Mr Wyatt said.
The Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference was held at the UWA Business School on 1-2 December.