19 The government establish an inquiry to determine the best way of re-establishing a coastal shipping service
10. Indigenous rights
Current debate centres on whether indigenous Australians should be specially mentioned in the Australian Constitution, and whether they should have special representation in the Australian democratic process. We regard these as secondary issues to the question of indigenous welfare.
Over a number of decades, while the Australian government has spent billions on indigenous welfare it has not improved for those who live in remote Australia. The Howard-initiated intervention in the Northern Territory was a new approach but appears to have had limited success.
There are models overseas of indigenous populations who have successfully transitioned to the modern world, and there are lessons here for us. For example, the country of Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world in the 1960s to a middle economy now. Like much of Australia it is arid, and its dominant industries are mining and cattle. It would be a good place to start. We recommend the government:
20 Identify the best performing indigenous societies internationally and fund research projects to investigate their success.
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