Economic independence on traditional land

by Indigenous Business Australia



IBA and Manungurra collaborated to stabilise Manungurra’s finances, introduce solar power and beneficial social, cultural and economic impacts

Project implemented: June 2016

Project goal

Assist Manungurra to become economically independent and self-sufficient on their traditional land.

delivering on

why is this project important?

It demonstrates how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can exercise self-determination through long-term economic planning.

Key steps to make it happen

1Manage income instability

Manungurra were receiving mining royalties but they ceased. Manungurra invested with IBA, obtaining income stability.

2Investigate power supply

With income stabilised from IBA investments, they could lease solar equipment and batteries through IBA’s Asset Leasing

3Increase population

People moved back to country due to power being 50% cheaper, and education could be provided on traditional country

4Economic development

Population increase qualified the communities for government funding/services including the establishment of enterprises.

impact to date

permanent residents living sustainably and independently on traditional country.
children receiving education choices on their traditional country

Increased participation in economic development and community activities on traditional country.

Exercising self-determination through sound and sustainable financial management.

Development of employment and enterprise opportunities on remote traditional country.

Manungurra stabilised their income from mining royalties by investing alongside IBA. With their income stabilised, IBA and Manungurra collaborated, through IBA’s asset leasing program, to supply and install solar panels to communities on the traditional country of Manungurra’s members.

The solar panels delivered energy that was 50% cheaper than energy from diesel generators, which had been providing power.

The significant decrease in the cost of power meant traditional owners could afford to move back to the communities, which contributed to them growing to full capacity, from two permanent adults to 30–40 adults and children.

The increase in the permanent population meant that the communities wer able to set up a School of the Air and to improve education opportunities for their children, and to re-establish their traditional culture.

The population increase also meant the communities qualified for government funding to run services, and to start economic development opportunities on their traditional lands, including a farming enterprise which provides fresh fruit and vegetable to the community and to local supermarket businesses.

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