Planning for rural development in Aboriginal communities: a community-based planning approach

Dale, Allan (1992) Planning for rural development in Aboriginal communities: a community-based planning approach. In: Moffatt, Ian, and Webb, Ann, (eds.) Conservation and development issues in northern Australia. Australian National University, Darwin, NT, Australia, pp. 200-212.

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Abstract

[Extract] AEDP: the champion of Aboriginal self determination? The principal Federal government policy encouraging the implementation of rural development projects on Aboriginal communities is the Aboriginal Employment Development Policy(AEDP), launched by the Prime Minister in October1987 (AEDP 1987a). AEDP forms part of the broader Federal policy of self-determination and self-management. Originally, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEE1) were responsible for the coordinated implementation of the policy, though the AEDP functions of the ADC and DAA have now been amalgamated into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). AEDP's primary aim is to achieve Aboriginal employment and income equity and reduce welfare dependency to a level commensurate to that of other Australians (AEDP 1987a, 3). Five broad implementation strategies are centred on public and private sector employment, community-based employment and enterprise, education and formal training, and inter-agency coordination and consultation (AEDP b, c, d & e). These major strategy areas were developed in accordance with Aboriginal concerns raised in the mid-1980s by the Committee of Review of Aboriginal Employment and Training Programs (Miller et al 1985). In a radical departure from previous employment programs, the Miller Report stressed that the Aboriginal community must be allowed to 'drive 'policy implementation. Hence, when AEDP was finally formalised, the government declared that the pace and direction of economic change should be entirely consistent with Aboriginal aspirations: The AEDP can only succeed if Aboriginal people themselves make the decisions about the direction and pace of change and the ways in which they will earn their livelihood. The Government will encourage Aboriginal people and communities to formulate their own strategies and objectives, and will assist and support them to achieve the objectives and directions that they have set for themselves (AEDP 1987a, 16). Thus, the original policy intentions of AEDP clearly championed the most basic principles of Federal self-determination and self-management policies(see HRSCAA 1990, 3).The policy intention also directly accommodated recent theoretical developments in the planning literature that suggest that effective social planning must be bottom-up rather than top-down. Numerous workers in the field of rural economic development have now found that the common failure of third world and indigenous development projects largely arises from conflicts between the land use 'perspectives'/objectives' of project donors and project recipients (eg see Bauer 1976; TurnerRuffing1976; Colson 1983; Rondinelli 1983;Gondolf 1986; Wolfe & Strachan 1987; Swartz1988; Wolfe 1988b; Crittenden & Lea 1989;SMerbaum 1990). These conflicting views of land use/project goals are often cross-cultural. Thus, academics have increasingly called upon governments to help indigenous communities control their own development planning through the conduct of community-based planning processes(see Wolfe 1984; Boothroyd 1984; Wolfe &Strachan 1987; Wolfe 1988a & b).200The poor performance of AEDP-funded rural enterprises suggests that planning for AEDP implementation largely remains top-down and program-based. To explore this possibility, the planning involved in a failed AEDP-funded cattle project in north-eastern Australia was examined. Departures from three essential community-based planning principles were determined, and it was found that deficiencies in participatory and technical planning had resulted in project failure

Item ID: 48832
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 0-7315-1428-9
Date Deposited: 03 May 2017 01:18
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960606 Rights to Environmental and Natural Resources (excl. Water Allocation) @ 20%
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