The Forrest Review
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Recommendation 1: Early childhood
That all governments prioritise investment in early childhood, from conception to three years of age.
Recommendation 2: School attendance
That governments work together to improve school attendance and be measured and accountable to the public for their success.
Recommendation 3: Improving educational outcomes
That a high quality of school education is ensured, particularly for children in remote and disadvantaged areas as assessed by achieving parity in National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results so they have the best chance of employment.
Recommendation 4: Stopping distractions to education
That Commonwealth, state and territory governments, business, sporting organisations and community leaders ensure that school attendance is not unintentionally undermined by sports carnivals, visiting celebrities or any activities that can give families an incentive to take students—particularly from remote schools—away from school for lengthy periods of time.
Recommendation 5: Healthy Welfare Card
That the Commonwealth Government implement immediately a Healthy Welfare Card scheme in conjunction with major financial institutions and retailers to support welfare recipients manage their income and expenses.
Recommendation 6: Implementation and accountability
That the implementation of recommendations be prioritised across all governments, closely monitored and reported along the lines that are described by the value driver trees.
Recommendation 7: Implementation
That the Commonwealth, state and territory governments ensure that a major component of funding for government-funded service providers is at risk if they fail to achieve satisfactory performance.
Recommendation 8: Agreement to implement the recommendations of this report
That the Commonwealth, state and territory governments agree to sign a new multilateral agreement to affirm their commitment to implement the recommendations of this report and be held accountable for delivery, through regular public reporting on the Creating Parity website as detailed in each recommendation.
Recommendation 9: Young people
That young people below 19 years of age must be working or in school or other educational institutions, training for a guaranteed job.
Recommendation 10: Job seeker obligations
That all discretion of Centrelink and job service providers to waive job seekers’ obligations and grant exemptions and transfers to non-activity tested payments such as the Disability Support Pension to excuse working age, capable welfare recipients from efforts to get meaningful employment be removed.
Recommendation 11: Breaking the welfare cycle
That the welfare system be simplified by reducing the number of different working age payments available to a single unemployment benefit (with only a very limited number of supplements available) along the lines of the 2009 Pension Review by Jeff Harmer.
Recommendation 12: Tax incentives
That tax-free status be provided to new and innovative first Australian commercial enterprises that create real jobs by providing the training grounds to eliminate the disparity for the most disadvantaged job seekers.
Recommendation 13: Employment services
That the Commonwealth Government replace and consolidate current Job Services Australia services and other work preparation and literacy and numeracy programmes with a demand driven system.
Recommendation 14: Vocational education and training
That, in order to create job-specific employer-directed training, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, as joint regulators and funders, introduce vouchers for employers redeemable at education providers to replace all funding for the vocational education and training system, particularly the TAFE system.
Recommendation 15: Driver’s licences
That all state and territory governments introduce a consistent approach to issuing provisional ‘locked’ driver’s licences for people who are unable to drive due to unpaid fines or other traffic infringements so that they can get and keep a job by being able to drive.
Recommendation 16: Training in incarceration
That states and territories require compulsory participation of inmates, while in incarceration, in proven methods of explicit instruction in English and maths, driver’s licences for those who need them, and job skills training.
Recommendation 17: Housing
That the Commonwealth, state and territory governments work together to put in place housing delivery mechanisms to support and encourage workforce participation, optimise transition and mobility to work, and remove disincentives and impediments to taking up work.
Recommendation 18: Government procurement
That the Commonwealth Government purchase at least 4% of its goods and services within four years (either directly or through subcontractors) from first Australian businesses (with a minimum of 25% Indigenous ownership) and in particular from the new first Australian commercial enterprises once they are established.
Recommendation 19: Top 200 employers
That the Commonwealth Government provide the top 200 companies in Australia and those with a strong track record of first Australian employment, with tailored contracts to increase the proportion of first Australians among their employees.
Recommendation 20: Support for employers
That the Commonwealth Government ensure the Indigenous Employment Programme funds training only when there is a guarantee of an ongoing job and has the flexibility to package support according to employers’ needs.
Recommendation 21: Public sector employment
That the Commonwealth, state and territory governments each set and enforce public sector first Australian employment targets of 4% within four years for each portfolio with a minimum of 4% within five years, but with no individual portfolio with less than 3%.
Recommendation 22: Remote Job Centres
That the Commonwealth Government replace and consolidate current Remote Jobs and Communities Programme services and other work preparation and literacy and numeracy programmes with demand-driven Job Centres, drawing on the Vocational Training and Employment Centre model, where training and support are provided to get people into guaranteed jobs.
Recommendation 23: Local governance
That community decisions about job seeker compliance and social norms be made locally by a local responsibilities board and not remotely.
Recommendation 24: Consolidating service delivery
That, to reduce duplication and improve outcomes from service delivery from services aimed at improving employment and social wellbeing of first Australians, the Commonwealth, state and Northern Territory governments engage with Local Responsibilities Boards to consolidate and integrate service delivery in credible local first Australian organisations.
Recommendation 25: Remote housing
That governments ensure the approach to remote housing on Indigenous land is revised to include performance-based funding to move to a sustainable system with strong incentives for workforce participation and home ownership.
Recommendation 26: Enabling leasing or freeholding of Indigenous land
That governments create the ability for traditional owners to convert their land to freehold or hold the underlying title with a 99-year lease owned by the home or business owner, so that it can be mortgaged or traded through the open market and so that traditional owners can build their houses on allotments on their own land.
Recommendation 27: Land access payments
So that land access payments can be applied to the economic and social progress of traditional owner and native title groups and ensure intergenerational benefits, that the Commonwealth Government consider the recommendations in the report of the Taxation of Native Title and Traditional Owner Benefits and Governance Working Group.
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