The federal government has refurbished or rebuilt more than 6,000 homes in remote indigenous communities since 2009, as part of the $5.5 billion National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
Jenny Macklin, MP, says the government has surpassed the overall target set of 4,876 refurbishments by 2014, with all jurisdictions either exceeding or on track to meet their individual targets.
Macklin says decent housing is critical to tackling Indigenous disadvantage.
“It helps protect children, improves health, education and employment outcomes and is essential to rebuilding positive community norms.”
She says the housing program gives indigenous people more opportunities for work, with indigenous employees making up more than 20% of the overall new construction workforce.
About 30% of this workforce in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia is indigenous.
The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing was renegotiated in late 2009 to provide greater financial incentives for jurisdictions to deliver new houses and refurbishments.
Under the revised arrangements, up to 25% of a jurisdiction’s capital works funding allocation can be reallocated if agreed targets are not met.
“This has significantly improved the delivery of new housing and refurbishments. This is set to continue with around 590 new houses and about 1200 refurbishments expected to be delivered this financial year.”