Council looks to create jobs for Kooris

A RECOMMENDATION will be made to Clarence Valley Council at its ordinary meeting later this month to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders represent at least five per cent of council staff numbers within two years.

The five per cent figure is the desired outcome of a proposal by council's community and cultural services committee (CCSC) to address the lack of job opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Clarence Valley.

The committee met on Monday and resolved to recom- mend council prioritise the creation of an Aboriginal Employment Strategy over the next two years.

The plan has the support of Deputy Mayor Shirley Adams and Councillor Terry Flanagan, both of whom believe more employment options, particularly in local government, are needed for the Clarence Valley's indigenous residents.

Council currently has 439 permanent part-time and full-time staff on the payroll, but yesterday could not confirm how many of those staff were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Although staff numbers are virtually fixed until 2007 because of the council's current commitment to retain preamalgamation staff quotas, the plan could still mean at least 20 new jobs for indigenous people.

CCSC director Jill Napier said a lack of employment options for Aboriginals had long been viewed as an issue that needed to be addressed and said now was the time to start developing the framework to make it happen.

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