Within the framework of the Council for Australian Governments (COAG) requirements for benchmarking Indigenous disadvantage and reporting on strategies and performance towards redress, the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council has moved to establish the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous Action Plan. The plan is built around processes directing natural resource management, and fundamental to it is an understanding of Indigenous and non-Indigenous population numbers in the Basin, their characteristics, distribution and trajectory of change, as well as a measure of their relative socioeconomic status. Such demographic and socioeconomic information provides for assessment of the quantum of need in social and economic policy, and for assessment of the impact of that quantum in environmental policy. Accordingly, the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research was commissioned by the Murray–Darling Basin Commission to develop a baseline regional profile. Indigenous people represent an increasing share of the population in the Murray–Darling Basin with particularly high proportions in the north and west. As with many other parts of the country, their labour force and income status remain relatively poor creating a challenge to COAG partners to ensure increased Indigenous participation in regional development planning and activity.
ISBN: 0 7315 5639 9