First Nations mayors urge housing meeting

Published: 25th June 2024

Queensland’s First Nation leaders will seek to meet with Federal Ministers in Canberra next next week in a bid to secure desperately-needed housing funding to tackle chronic overcrowding.

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said First Nations mayors want to sit down with Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Housing Minister Julie Collins and make the case for funding echoing the $4 billion program established for the Northern Territory.

“Without housing it is impossible to close the gap on any other challenges in our communities,” Mayor Butcher said.

“Just today at the Indigenous Leaders Forum in Cairns, mayors listed housing as the top issue for their communities – whether it is shortages meaning chronic overcrowding, kids being forced to go ‘house hopping’ just to find somewhere to sleep, or soaring contractor prices.

“We have solutions to present to the Federal Government but we need to sit down with the ministers so they can hear them.

“We will be in Canberra for the local government general assembly and the Australian Council of Local Government which would mean mayors, together, could talk to the Federal ministers."

Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey said: "The housing crisis does not recognise the Northern Territory-Queensland border – we are desperately short of secure and available housing in our communities too.

“If the Federal Government can come to a deal with the Northern Territory there is no reason we can’t make it work for Queensland communities too.”

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Dan Knowles, Media Advisor