Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) on Indigenous Employment in the East Kimberley

Date: 7 November 2006
Date To: 30 June 2011
Sub Category:Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)
Place:East Kimberley
State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
This Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) applies to parts of the East Kimberley region in the north of the state of Western Australia. The initial area covered by the RPA comprises the towns of Kununurra, Halls Creek and Wyndham, and also includes the Warmun Indigenous Community and outstations. It is envisaged that this initial area will extend further through the East Kimberley during the life of the agreement.
Subject Matter: | Economic Development | Employment and Training | Mining and Minerals | Youth
Summary Information:
The Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) on Indigenous Employment in the East Kimberley was signed on 7 November 2006 by the following parties:
  • the Commonwealth government (represented by the Hon Mal Brough, MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs);
  • the West Australian government (represented by the Hon Shiela M McHale, MLA, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Culture and the Arts);
  • the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley;
  • various employers; and
  • Indigenous organisations including the Ngoonjuwah Council Aboriginal Corporation and the Kununurra Waringarri Aboriginal Corporation.
  • A full list of the signatories to this RPA is provided below. This RPA was agreed in response to the comparatively high levels of unemployment experienced by Indigenous people in the Ease Kimberley region (Clause 1.3). The purpose of this RPA is to allow the parties to work together to enhance Indigenous people’s opportunities for:
  • gaining and creating employment in resources and other sectors;
  • participating in training and education; and
  • sharing in the wealth generated in the region by the presence of the mining industry through participation in mainstream employment.
  • Detailed Information:
    This Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) is intended to be a statement of the mutual intention of the parties, and hence it does not give rise to any enforceable rights or binding obligations on any party. The RPA commenced with the signing of the document on 7 November 2006, and will continue until 30 June 2011, unless all the parties agree to either terminate the agreement or prepare another document to replace it. Background and key targets This RPA is based upon the principles enumerated in the National Framework Principles for Service Delivery to Indigenous Australians, which was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in June 2004. It was created pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Commonwealth government (1 June 2005 – 2010). It is the first of several RPAs which are provided for by the MoU, with the East Kimberley region being one of seven pilot sites established to implement the MoU objectives (Minerals Council of Australia, 2006, 2). This RPA was agreed in response to an inequity in employment outcomes that was revealed in Census data from 2001. This data showed that only 13.6% of the East Kimberley region’s Indigenous labour force aged 15 years and over was employed, compared with 66.1% of the non-Indigenous population in the same age group. This RPA seeks to address these high levels of unemployment by detailing approaches and projects for joint action by Indigenous organisations and individuals, industry and government (Indigenous Portal Website, March 2007). Set within a five-year framework, this RPA has the key targets of placing at least 300 Indigenous people a year in jobs, and reducing the rate of Indigenous unemployment in the region by 50%. In addition, the RPA aims to equalise the rates of Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment in the East Kimberley within 10 years. Objectives of this RPA The parties to this RPA have committed to the following objectives (Clauses 2.1 - 2.5):
  • RPA Objective 1 (local industry and employer engagement): this objective involves the establishment of a 300 Club (or East Kimberley Corporate Leaders Group) made up of local employers committed to achieving the RPA targets (and, in particular, the goal of placing 300 Indigenous people per year in jobs by 30 June 2011).
  • RPA Objective 2 (work readiness): this objective seeks to overcome common barriers to participation in mainstream employment through projects intended to improve literacy, numeracy, life skills, employment support and opportunities for advancement for Indigenous people.
  • RPA Objective 3 (business development): this objective aims to enhance opportunities for the establishment of sustainable enterprises in the East Kimberley.
  • RPA Objective 4 (education and training for employment): this objective seeks to promote Indigenous employment by fostering early school engagement and improved educational outcomes.
  • RPA Objective 5 (sustainability): this objective is the underlying principle behind all projects under this RPA.
  • Based upon these objectives, the parties have committed to the implementation of five projects, details for which have been provided below. These projects (and the objectives behind them) are intended to deliver the following kinds of outcomes for Indigenous people in the East Kimberley region (Clause 2):
  • increased employability and jobs;
  • increased number of Indigenous business enterprises;
  • stronger families and earlier childhood engagement with the education system;
  • a strong partnership between industry, government and Indigenous communities;
  • a dedicated team to progress implementation of this RPA; and
  • a framework for working together and promoting best practice.
  • Projects under this RPA The parties to this RPA have agreed to the undertaking of the following projects: Project 1 – Implementation and the 300 Club This project involves the establishment of a Coordination and Implementation Team to ensure that the projects under this RPA are implemented successfully. It also involves the setting up of a 300 Club to promote employer engagement with this RPA and its employment targets. Project 2 – Work Readiness – Case management, Motivation and Monitoring As part of this project, a framework is to be set up to link Indigenous individuals to services that can assist them with making a successful transition to mainstream employment, and also enhance retention and improve the sustainability of employment outcomes. This project also involves the placement of case managers in certain East Kimberley towns to provide support and advice to employers and employees. Project 3 – Business Development This project involves the development and use of a business incubation program to support a sustainable increase in Indigenous-owned small businesses and joint ventures in the region. Through this project, the parties also seek to establish a single business development unit to provide assistance to both traditional owner and non-traditional owner groups. Project 4 – Child Care This two-part project is intended to increase the number of child care facilities and childcare workers in the East Kimberley, as a means of removing a key barrier to employment for many Indigenous women. It involves the investigation of demand for additional child care services, and also the development of TAFE courses in child care for Indigenous women in the region. Project 5 – Building Accommodation for Trainees This project is aimed at addressing the accommodation-related difficulties faced by young Indigenous people who come to Kununurra to work. It entails the construction of accommodation units for Indigenous apprentices and trainees, who will be involved in the building process. Implementation and roles Pursuant to this RPA, Indigenous organisations will have a primarily coordinating and promotional role within the communities. Facilitated by the Kununurra Indigenous Coordination Centre (ICC), the Australian government will coordinate service delivery and the development of actions, including those under Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs). Industry parties will promote an increase in Indigenous employment by engaging regional businesses with the RPA. A ‘Regional Partnership Committee’ and ‘Coordination and Implementation Team’ consisting of parties to this RPA will be responsible for overseeing, implementing and evaluating its progress.

    Related Entries

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Government
  • Organisation
  • East Kimberley Community Development Employment Programme (CDEP) Pty Ltd - Signatory
  • Warmun Community (Turkey Creek) Incorporated - Signatory
  • Argyle Diamonds Limited - Signatory
  • Kununurra-Waringarri Aboriginal Corporation - Signatory
  • Voyages El Questro - Signatory
  • Kimberley Group Training Inc - Signatory
  • East Kimberley Job Pathways Pty Ltd - Signatory
  • Kimberley TAFE - Signatory
  • State of Western Australia - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Ngoonjuwah Council Aboriginal Corporation - Signatory
  • Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley - Signatory
  • Workbase - Signatory
  • Wunan Foundation - Signatory
  • Roche Mining Pty Limited - Signatory

  • Glossary

    Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Australia)