Welcome interim funding for remote indigenous housing
The Palaszczuk Government should be congratulated on its decision to invest $40 million next year on a modest housing program for remote indigenous communities in Queensland.
The decision stands in contrast to the Federal Government’s continued refusal to date to meet its obligations to continue funding for remote indigenous housing despite its own review urging it to do so.
Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said Housing Minister Mick de Brenni had heeded the LGAQ’s request earlier this year for the Queensland Government to step in and provide some funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils to ensure the employment and other benefits of the remote housing program could continue.
“Councils thank the Minister for this decision but also realise it is an interim measure and the lasting solution to overcrowding in indigenous communities and its associated health and economic outcomes lies with the Federal Government,” he said.
“Protracted negotiations between the Federal and State Governments continue to leave councils, their communities and many local workers wondering where all their progress in addressing overcrowding up to this point has been in vain.”
“The LGAQ and our indigenous member councils will continue to press Canberra not to walk away from its responsibilities and provide proper funding for the continued support for building and maintain housing for these communities.”
The Federal Government’s own review of its National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing program urged funding to continue beyond its scheduled completion on 30 June this year, saying despite some good gains, overcrowding remained a significant problem in indigenous communities.
However, the Government has consistently refused to agree to continue the program.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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