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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands is an Aboriginal Local Government Area located in north-west South Australia. In 2012, the local Women's Council requested the introduction of income management into the APY Lands. The report found there are indications that income management may have made a modest contribution to addressing some of the challenges, but cannot alone make significant inroads into the social problems within the community.

Executive summary

This is the final report of an examination of the implementation and early impacts of the introduction of Voluntary Income Management (VIM) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

The project is a qualitative study of VIM in the APY Lands.  This study focuses on how the measure is operating in the short-term, after its introduction in October 2012. The study is based primarily on qualitative and quantitative face to face interviews with community members in Pukatja (Ernabella) and Amata – two of the biggest communities in the APY Lands.

The project also draws on reports provided by the Department of Social Services on the number and profile of individuals on VIM in the APY Lands.

The main findings are:
•    The majority of community members and other stakeholders who participated in this study were positive about income management being introduced into the APY Lands.
•    The fact that the communities had requested income management, and had been consulted about its introduction, appears to have had a major influence on the communities’ view of income management.
•    Similarly the fact that the vast majority of people on income management in the APY Lands were on the Voluntary measure has facilitated the acceptance of income management in the APY Lands.
•    Generally income management has been implemented smoothly but there were reportedly some early practical issues around the acceptance of the BasicsCard in some outlets. This was quickly remedied.
•    There are mixed responses in relation to the impact of income management on the wellbeing of the community as a whole, but overall there is a belief that it has had a positive impact so far, although its impact is limited.
•    The main reasons provided for the communities requesting income management were financial harassment (‘humbug’), misuse of alcohol and cannabis (gunja), gambling, and parents neglecting their children.

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