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Prime Minister must not walk away from indigenous housing

News Release

Monday, 29 January 2018

This program has created hundreds of jobs and provided thousands of new or refurbished homes

Queensland’s remote indigenous communities will be condemned to a social and jobs crisis spanning generations if the Turnbull Government walks away from providing vital housing funding.

The Local Government Association of Queensland has launched a campaign to draw attention to the impact of the Government’s looming withdrawal from the long running National Partnership Alliance on Remote Housing program, which has provided jobs and shelter for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for a decade.

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said ending Commonwealth support for the program would undo the hard-won gains in ensuring Queensland and the rest of the nation supported a decent level of housing to indigenous communities.

“This program has created hundreds of jobs and provided thousands of new or refurbished homes in Queensland since 2008 yet the Federal Government is preparing to axe future funding after June this year,’’ he said.

“We are not going to stand by and watch Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull walk away from a program that is so fundamental to the future of indigenous communities in Queensland.”

The indigenous housing program has invested $5.4 billion into ensuring sufficient housing for indigenous communities, where overcrowding is creating chronic social problems affecting health and education.

Yet the Government has signalled there will be no further money allocated to the program after this financial year.

“I urge all MPs and senators to do what they can to make sure this vital funding continues,’’ Mr Hallam said.

“The Prime Minister is due within days to report to Parliament on progress reaching targets on Closing the Gap in indigenous disadvantage.”

“Any move to axe the indigenous housing program will not only cast a large shadow over what he says. It will amount to an abrogation of the Government’s Closing the Gap responsibilities.”

The LGAQ has written to members of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee asking them to examine the impact that defunding the indigenous housing program would have on other projects aimed at easing overcrowding and homelessness in Australia.

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


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