A mid-term review of the Aboriginal Employment Development Policy (AEDP) has recently been completed. While much of the associated policy-rhetoric and assessment of policy outcomes has been aimed at the national level, the fiscal environment in which AEDP goals are to be achieved is invariably one of regional labour markets and administrative systems operating in the economic context of States and Territories. In view of this reality, this paper responds to a need for regional-level analyses of change in the economic status of Indigenous people compared to that of non-Indigenous people in each State and Territory. Using 1986 and 1991 Census-based social indicators for Tasmania, attention is focussed on relative shifts in population growth and intra-State distribution, labour force and income status, and levels of welfare dependency (measured as non-employment income). A major finding is that the gap in labour force status between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people remained the same, with the status of both groups deteriorating, while the relatively lower income status and higher level of welfare dependency of Indigenous people also remained unaltered. This suggests that despite the introduction of the AEDP, Indigenous people in Tasmania have shared in the negative effects of economic downturn. If the overall aims of the policy are to be accomplished, an increased focus on quantity and quality of outcomes will be necessary.
ISBN: 0 7315 1730 X