Indigenous work target met

Identifying a 0.5 per cent employment rate among those of indigenous and Torres Strait Islander descent in 2010, the City set itself a target to increase the number to 4 per cent by July 1, 2016.

With the number currently at 3.66 per cent, Councillor Josh Wilson, who worked alongside Cr Sam Wainwright to develop the target, used last week’s council meeting to introduce a workforce diversity plan for the next five years.

The plan would set employment targets for Aboriginals as well as those with disabilities, carers, youth and the mature aged.

“In the most recent Prime Minister’s report on Closing the Gap it is acknowledged that the aim of halving the gap in employment participation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians by 2018 is off track,” Cr Wilson said.

“We chose 4 per cent because it’s clearly higher than the targets set in the State and Federal public service, and I wanted Freo to make a meaningful contribution to one of the most important policy challenges that we all face in this country.

“While our contribution is only relatively small in the scheme of things, I’m glad that by setting a clear target we have significantly increased indigenous employment within the City of Fremantle, and I believe this kind of action and leadership makes a difference.

He said there was hope the initiative could be implemented by other employers in the future.