Warra-Li Resource Unit: a model for regional economic development
In 2010, 14 Local Aboriginal Land Councils in Northern Region sat down with State and Federal Government representatives to sign an agreement to convert hard-fought land gains into a long-term economic future.
Out of that Regional Partnership agreement came the Warra-Li Resource Unit, which is now starting to realise its potential as a model for economic empowerment.
In the last 18 months, Warra-Li has supported the 14 LALCs with business planning and financial modelling – important building blocks in operating sustainable enterprise job-creating opportunities.
Finding established businesses for LALCs to take on is a key focus.
And Warra-Li has established its own social enterprise – an e-waste recycling facility at Inverell that will employ six people.
The Federal Government this month committed $1 million towards the facility and Warra-Li is hopeful of securing further support to ensure Land Councils can generate jobs for Aboriginal people in the region.
NSWALC Councillor for Northern Region Charles Lynch says the Warra-Li model is one the network should pay close attention to.
“When you look at the funding into the network, it’s limited and I think it’s time we looked outside the square. The LALCs need to do that so economic development is crucial because the funding opportunities aren’t there like they used to be.
“Government money is limited so I think it’s crucial that Warra-Li continues on and I think it’s also crucial that LALCs are looking outside the box in generating income whether it’s passive or through a business development and I think that’s the important factor.”