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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.

Working paper

Three broad aims were identified for the study:

  1. to identify structural impediments limiting regional transport in desert Australia and between regional centres and outlying communities
  2. to examine the approaches available to achieve better local mobility
  3. to identify the significant research issues requiring further consideration.

The study concluded that the major issue for regional transport in desert Australia is the vulnerable nature of the mobility experienced by Aboriginal communities and people. The available research suggests that Aboriginal people are highly mobile in their day-to-day lives, travelling to visit one or more places for short periods of time and then returning to their home communities. At the same time the level of mobility is largely localised, taking place within a specific cultural framework or regional area. Kinship provides the great driving force behind the mobility. Fragility arises because of the reliance on the private car as the transport means to provide that mobility. Given that the vehicles used by Aboriginal people in desert Australia tend to be of advanced age, in poor condition, poorly maintained and perhaps used in unsafe ways (such as overloading, in terms of numbers of vehicle occupants), breakdowns are common and the users may not be able to readily undertake repairs. Individuals and groups can then easily become stranded and without the necessary resources to take other transport alternatives.

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