Hervey Bay indigenous are among the most needy

CANBERRA researchers have identified indigenous people in Hervey Bay as one of the four most disadvantaged regional centre populations in Australia.

Australian National University fellow Dr Nicholas Biddle and researcher Francis Markham analysed census data from 43 regional centres with an indigenous population of more than 1000 people.

Their published paper showed indigenous people in Hervey Bay were both highly mobile and relatively disadvantaged, a combination that has made the city a high-needs area for government assistance.

"Due to high rates of mobility into, out of, and within these centres, adequate provision of services to the indigenous population is likely to be particularly difficult," the paper said.

The paper also showed both Hervey Bay and Bundaberg had some of the highest rates of indigenous people outside the working age, leading to a high level of dependency on those who were working age.

The other three areas identified to have the same level of concern were Port Augusta in South Australia and Western Australia's Geraldton and Kalgoorlie-Boulder.