The Australian Indigenous Business Exemption as a ‘Special Measure’: Questions of Effectiveness

Matthew Storey


This article considers the issue of the requirements of establishing the Australian Commonwealth government’s Indigenous preferential procurement program, the ‘indigenous business exemption’ as a special measure under Article 1.4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It does this by, considering jurisprudence regarding special measures and other affirmative action programs from Australia and other jurisdictions, concluding that it is necessary to establish some evidential base to justify the establishment (in Australian law) and ongoing operation of such measures (in international law). The article then examines the effectiveness of procurement policies aimed at achieving secondary social objectives in addition to the primary procurement of government goods and services.


Indigenous business exemption; Indigenous preferential procurement program

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