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Indigenous leaders gather in Cairns for emergency housing meeting

News Release

Tuesday, 18 April

Indigenous leaders gather in Cairns for emergency housing meeting

Leaders from Queensland’s Indigenous councils will gather in Cairns this week to call on the Commonwealth Government to continue to fund housing in their remote communities, with current funding slated to cease on June 30, 2018.

The emergency meeting will also include Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni in a discussion of how to continue building on the success of the federally-funded housing program in Queensland, which has seen over 1000 new houses built and close to 1500 existing dwellings refurbished. 

Torres Strait Island Regional Council Mayor and LGAQ Policy Executive Indigenous representative Fred Gela said that the success of the program in Queensland provided a platform to reduce overcrowding and homelessness in Indigenous communities.

“Despite our positive gains, we still have a way to go in addressing the housing issues which are a critical factor in ‘closing the gap’ on Indigenous health, education and economic participation,” he said. 

“The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing had presented opportunities to add value and opportunities in employment, training and business development, and much more can be done going forward to build on these achievements.”

Cr Gela said that at least 30% of all TSIRC households were overcrowded or not meeting the health, disability and child safety needs of families.

“Over 1500 people from 275 household applicant groups are currently living with other family members across our managed housing stock of 925 dwellings,” he said.

A recent LGAQ submission to the Federal Government on housing estimated that to close the gap on overcrowding in line with COAG targets, a further 1,800 to 2,000 houses in remote communities is required to meet current demand.    

Cr Gela said Queensland had a proven track record and stood ready to deliver housing in remote communities post June 30, 2018.   

The meeting will occur April 20 at Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, 122 Lake Street at 8.15 am. 

Media are invited to attend.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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