The Treasurer has asked the Queensland Productivity Commission (the Commission) to undertake an inquiry into service delivery in Queensland's remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
This draft report has been released to provide an opportunity for consultation on the issues raised by this inquiry—and, in particular, on preliminary analysis, findings and recommendations.
The final report will be prepared after further consultation has been undertaken, and will be forwarded to the Queensland Government in December.
• The Queensland Government invests in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support people to live healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.
• This report considers how available resources can best be used to achieve these outcomes.
• We have talked with those living in communities, service providers and other stakeholders to understand how well the current system meets their needs. The results are mixed.
• There are examples of good service delivery that can be built upon, but most stakeholders agree there are opportunities to improve how programs and services are designed, funded and delivered to better meet expectations of performance and improve outcomes.
• The service delivery system involves all three levels of government, numerous agencies, and a wide range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations. There is a strong commitment from stakeholders to address the complex and longstanding issues facing communities.
• In our view, the key to sustained change is to address the underlying incentives inherent in the current system. This means a change to the overall policy and service delivery architecture as follows: – structural reform to transfer accountability and decision-making closer to where service users are—to regions and communities – service delivery reform to put communities at the centre of service design – economic reform to facilitate economic participation and community development.
• These elements will need to be underpinned by: – capability and capacity building within government, service providers and communities to support a new way of doing things – timely and transparent data collection and reporting to support performance and accountability.
• This proposal, put forward for further discussion, aims to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve outcomes for themselves. The potential benefits are large, in improving wellbeing and in re-prioritising expenditure to where communities value it most.
• The proposal is realistic but ambitious—gains will take time. The Commission has put forward 16 recommendations to achieve better performance in delivering outcomes and promote further discussion