SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
LABOR WELCOMES NORTHERN TERRITORY INDIGENOUS REMOTE HOUSING POLICY
Labor welcomes the announcement of Northern Territory Labor’s Indigenous remote housing policy, which will build new homes, rooms and living spaces under a record $1.1 billion ten-year housing program.
Chronic housing problems and overcrowding have a significant detrimental impact on the health, education and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory.
Housing is the single biggest concern of Aboriginal Territorians living in the bush.
Northern Territory Labor has shown it is committed to addressing the serious housing challenges facing remote Aboriginal communities.
This record investment in housing will increase the supply of new housing, with an emphasis on local decision making about where and how new housing is constructed.
The package includes funding for refurbishments with an emphasis on creating appropriate living spaces for the elderly, people living with disability, mental health condition or recovering from dependency on alcohol or other drugs.
Northern Territory Labor is listening to the genuine concerns of Aboriginal peoples.
That’s more than can be said for the Abbott/Turnbull and Giles Governments.
The Abbott/Turnbull Budget in May this year ripped $95 million from remote Indigenous housing and prematurely ended the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
Seven months later, it is not clear what the Abbott/Turnbull Government's funding contribution for remote Indigenous housing will be under the new Remote Housing Strategy.
Uncertainty looms as negotiations continue, with no details about how the new Strategy will operate.
The Abbott/Turnbull Government must clarify how the Commonwealth will contribute and work with State and Territory Governments to deliver appropriate housing for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
We cannot close the gap in health, education and employment until we address the most basic of needs - the provision of appropriate and affordable housing.
It is clear that only Labor will continue to work hard to acknowledge and deliver the change that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need and aspire to for future generations.
MONDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2015