Population research highlights revenue loss for NT

30-May-2013

Dr Andrew Taylor said the NT’s share of the national Indigenous population had been in substantial decline over successive decades

The Northern Territory’s declining share of the national Indigenous population will cost the NT $120 million a year for the foreseeable future.

The Demography and Growth Planning team at Charles Darwin University has released research findings about the causes and consequences of these changes for financial allocations to the Northern Territory Government.

Senior Research Fellow with The Northern Institute Dr Andrew Taylor said the NT’s share of the national Indigenous population had been in substantial decline over successive decades.

“Despite growing in absolute size, the NT’s Indigenous population as a share of the national Indigenous population has fallen from over 18 per cent in 1981 to around 10 per cent in 2011,” Dr Taylor said.

He said large increases in the measured Indigenous population elsewhere in Australia were the basis of the declining NT share.

“The primary drivers behind the disparate rates of change include new Indigenous identifications, rapid identification change in big cities, mixed partnering, migration to cities and changes in the measurement of Indigenous status,” he said.

“The declining NT share could have significant implications for Federal funding to the NT Government under the legislation in place to distribute Goods and Services Tax revenues to States and Territories.

“One outcome will be a reduction of around $120 million per annum in its share of national GST revenues.”

Dr Taylor said population research to understand causes and consequences of changing shares at various geographic levels will inform re-considerations about relative disadvantage associated with Indigenous Australian’s. “It will be vital to understand this population change in the Territory context.”

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