Increased investment of Indigenous electoral participation measures

Updated: 28 October 2021

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is to build on its commitment and work with Indigenous communities, following today’s announcement of additional funding for the AEC’s Indigenous Electoral Participation Program.

The funding will enable the delivery of a series of targeted measures over the next four years though the Enhancing Indigenous Electoral Participation initiative.

Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers, said the additional funding allows the AEC to expand its targeted engagement activities focused on closing the Indigenous enrolment gap and increasing effective electoral participation.

“The funding announced today will provide the opportunity to build on Indigenous engagement strategies that have proven to be effective in making a positive impact on addressing the proportion of Indigenous Australians not enrolled,” Mr Rogers said.

Initiatives to be delivered over the next four years include targeted in-community engagement activities, electoral awareness resources in Indigenous language, increased Indigenous communication products and amendments to enable the roll to better capture and link traditional, kinship and other recognised names.

Mr Rogers said over the recent period there has been a consistent improvement in the level of Indigenous enrolment, with the estimated Indigenous enrolment rate lifting year on year from 74.7 per cent in 2017 to 79.3 per cent in 2021.

“While the indigenous growth has outpaced the increase in the overall enrolment rate, it still lags behind the enrolment rate for all eligible voters of 96.3 per cent.

“We are commitment to working with communities to make further inroads in addressing this gap through the Enhancing Indigenous Electoral Participation initiative,” he said.

The additional funding includes $9.4 million over four years and $1.3 million per year beyond the forward estimates for the AEC to deliver an expanded Indigenous engagement program.