• Crown Resorts was one of the companies given millions in federal funding to employ Aboriginal people. (AAP)Source: AAP
The federal government is being criticised for granting over $100m dollars in funding for Indigenous employment programs to multi-million dollar private corporations.
Sarah Collard

6 Apr 2021 - 6:05 PM  UPDATED 6 Apr 2021 - 6:10 PM

Over a dozen private corporations, including mining and tourism companies, have received millions in federal funding earmarked for Indigenous outcomes. 

The Employment Parity Initiative is a scheme by the federal government which aims to encourage large corporations to employ more Indigenous Australians.

Tens of millions of dollars were allocated to multibillion-dollar corporations through the Indigenous Advancement Scheme (IAS), established under the Abbott government to address Indigenous disadvantage. 

Mining company Fortescue Metals Group received $3.6 million under the scheme despite posting record profits totalling over $US4 billion just last month.

The company later returned the money, saying that, after consideration of their workplace needs, they were withdrawing from the scheme. 

Construction company Hutchinson, as well as foreign national companies such as the French based Sodexo and Accor Asia Pacific, are among 14 private companies receiving more than $100 million. 

Crown resorts was awarded $3.6 million, Wesfarmers received $15.6 million, while Woolworths was given the single largest grant, worth over $25.2 million.

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt declined an interview and did not respond to requests for comment.

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