There has been much public discussion about the sustainability of remote aboriginal communities. The end of Commonwealth funding for infrastructure and municipal services in those communities has been the trigger for this recent debate. My report is not about all of the communities or their futures, but I can understand that it may help to inform Parliament, government and the community in that much wider debate.
The State is faced with working out how best to take on the Commonwealth responsibilities, and to blend them with its existing essential services to remote communities. This is where my report can, I believe, have most impact.
We have reviewed the effectiveness and efficiency of the Remote Area Essential Services Program. The need for the Program will, in all likelihood, continue and could even grow regardless of the outcome of the debate around the future of some communities. We have identified areas where the Program can be delivered better and more efficiently which will, I hope, make a difference for communities and help the State adapt effectively to its increased responsibilities.