Aboriginal Future Fund

Ashby Monk

South Australia’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, Klynton Wanganeen, has an innovative plan to help Aboriginal communities support themselves instead of relying on welfare: a new SWF. The new fund would be based on mining royalties and land tax revenue and run by the State Government.

“For the first time Aboriginal communities would have the ability to do some long-term planning, because they’re run by a year-by-year cycle, not knowing what funds they’re going to receive from governments,” according to Wanganeen.

I’m very interested in the way in which Wanganeen conceptualizes the utility of a SWF. First, he rightly views such a fund as imposing discipline on policymakers with respect to long-term planning. Second, he sees the SWF as having an important social welfare role for the Aboriginal community. However, this would be more about getting people off of welfare through job creation rather than facilitating the payment of welfare checks.

“It will give the opportunity for the capital base to be utilised for business development, joint ventures, and when you’ve got those things you create employment.”

SWFs as a tool for getting citizens off of welfare — an interesting idea!

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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