Section 6: Recommendations to the Australian Government
As the title of this report states, it is time to put ‘our future in our hands’.
This report provides a suggested pathway for a new National Representative Body to begin the journey to true independence and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This starts with the proposition that the National Representative Body should be a non-government entity, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee.
Accordingly, the majority of proposed actions in this report are directed to the Interim National Executive of the new National Representative Body rather than to the Australian Government.
However, there are significant steps that can only be taken by the Australian Government that will facilitate the creation of the National Representative Body and enable it to have a chance at success.
Accordingly, we make the following recommendations to the Australian Government:
1. That the Australian Government agree to an ‘establishment package’ for the new National Representative Body comprising the following elements:
a. The full funding of the establishment phase of the National Representative Body (estimated to be completed in December 2010).
b. Granting of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to the National Representative Body and fast tracking its enactment.
c. The creation of an Establishment Investment Fund vested in the National Representative Body.
2. That the Australian Government agree to the Steering Committee for this consultation process being extended to enable it to appoint an Interim Ethics Council and to identify the members of the Interim National Executive of the new National Representative Body.
3. That the Australian Government commit to provide recurrent funding for the National Representative Body’s operations over the initial five years of operations from January 2011. It is anticipated that there would be a need for a further five years of funding by government, but at a reduced rate as the organisation begins to access consistent streams of independent funding.
4. That the Australian Government commit to a substantial contribution over ten years into the Establishment Investment Fund for the National Representative Body to ensure its sustainability and financial viability into the future. This Fund will require a total of $200million from all sources over the ten years to ensure a sufficient recurrent expenditure base for the organisation after ten years.