Impacts of Service and Infrastructure Provision on Indigenous Temporary Mobility in the Northern Territory of Australia: Insights from the 2011 Census

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Abstract

Indigenous people comprise a significant proportion of the population living in remote parts of Australia, particularly in the north. A growing body of literature has documented high mobility between remote Indigenous settlements, service towns and cities. The extent and nature of this mobility is thought to be driven, at least partly, by the types of services and infrastructure available in communities. Understanding to what extent these service and infrastructure provisions drive people's mobility and the type of people who move is essential for creating policy for remote communities and making investment decisions. We use 2011 census data to examine this issue for the Northern Territory, the Australian jurisdiction with the highest Indigenous composition in its remote population, by constructing generalised linear mixed models comparing Indigenous people's actual locations on census night with their stated usual place of residence. We found that individual characteristics (gender and age) had high impacts on individuals being at home or away on census night and that good health care provision, government subsidised community jobs and Internet access are associated with higher levels of absences from home. Meanwhile, those living in communities that had recently received new houses were less likely to be away on census night. The results can contribute to the efficiency of service provision and to understanding the dynamics of Indigenous mobility.

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Zander, K. K., Taylor, A. J., & Carson, D. B. (2016). Impacts of Service and Infrastructure Provision on Indigenous Temporary Mobility in the Northern Territory of Australia: Insights from the 2011 Census. Population, Space and Place, 22(1), 99–116. https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.1871

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