Employment and Economic Opportunity

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Indigenous people are critical to the future of Cape York through their presence and identity, and increasingly through their enterprise and land use. The right of Indigenous people to build a real economy is central to our work: true empowerment fosters confident economic development.


Cape York people have aspirations to participate in a real economy and develop industries such as cattle, tourism, mining services, horticulture, forestry, fishing, quarrying and infrastructure development

We believe Indigenous Australia must become integrated into the national and global economies. Culture, language and connection to country should not be traded off.

Indigenous communities on Cape York can have a viable future as small towns and cultural hearths. Success in employment and economic development must involve increasing our success in land reform, education and orbiting.

Securing real jobs for Cape York people depends on creating pathways to existing local jobs; increasing mobility, or orbiting people to work opportunities; changing social norms; and enabling economic development to create more Cape York jobs.

Development in Cape York must deliver diversified outcomes on Indigenous land, including properly-resourced environmental and cultural outcomes.

Click here to read Cape York Institute’s research paper on whether Cape York communities can become economically viable.