“ NACCHO is extremely disappointed that the Commonwealth Government has recently walked away from all States’ Remote Housing funding agreements and only maintained smaller scale arrangements in the Northern Territory.
States have been offered short-term agreements and committed fewer funds.
Simply put, decent housing and reducing homelessness is critical to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people’
We know it’s a significant concern for State Governments too
Mr John Singer Chairperson of NACCHO See full Press Release Part 1
“It is morally reprehensible that the Federal Government can walk away from ongoing funding for remote communities after being involved in this space for 50 years.
If the PM does not step in to resolve this issue – as requested in a formal letter sent to him by WA Premier Mark McGowan on May 11 – he will be showing his true stripes as the so-called PM for Closing the Gap.
We want to Close the Gap – not slam the door.”
WA Housing Minister Peter Tinley : Read full Press Release Below Part 2 Remote communities’ campaign calls on Commonwealth for a fair go
“The people living in WA’s 165 remote communities are amongst the most vulnerable in Australia. There are significant challenges in servicing their communities to a suitable standard.
For the Federal Government to suggest that this is solely a State responsibility is a nonsense.
I would urge all Australians – including all members of the Liberal and National State Opposition whose silence on this issue to date has been noted – to get on board with this campaign.”
I’ve spent a lot of my life having to deal with the slings and arrows of being an Aboriginal person. Nigel Scullion is just the latest in that , he’s clearly unsuitable to try to resolve this issue and I am surprised and disappointed that he would resort to such rhetoric.”
WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt in The Guardian
and Press Release Part 2
“Without a decent place to live, the task of closing the gap in health or education becomes only more difficult,”
Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Patrick Dodson said housing underpins all of the Close the Gap targets. See Part 3
Download NACCHO Press Release
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is extremely concerned that the Federal Government has cut funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
Housing conditions in remote communities remain substandard, overcrowded and there are high rates of homelessness in remote communities. All of these contribute to poor health outcomes and prevalence of third world diseases like trachoma and rheumatic heart disease.
The WA State Government’s ‘Don’t Walk Away’ campaign, calls on the Federal Government not to abandon remote communities in Western Australia. For more information, visit http://www.dontwalkaway.wa.gov.au
NACCHO requests that the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing funding is maintained to support efforts in Closing the Gap policies of the Federal government and Agreements with all States signed as a matter of urgency.
Part 2 Remote communities’ campaign calls on Commonwealth for a fair go
The WA McGowan Government started a campaign to pressure the Federal Government to not abandon 165 remote communities in Western Australia.
The ‘Don’t Walk Away’ campaign featured online and print media advertising, and promote a website with a call to action for people concerned about the plight of the almost 12,000 people living in remote communities across WA.
June 30 marked the end of a 10-year, $1.2 billion funding agreement between the Federal Government and the WA Government to support remote communities through the provision of housing.
The WA Government contributes about $90 million annually to maintain these communities through the provision of essential services such as power, water and waste management, infrastructure and regular maintenance activity.
The Federal Government’s own independent Remote Housing Review has identified that about 1,300 new homes will need to be built in WA in the coming decade to address issues of overcrowding in remote communities and to cater for population growth.
But despite months of haggling, the Federal Government has indicated it intends to wash its hands of further involvement in the provision of housing for remote services after making a payment of about $60 million over the next three years.
This will leave an approximate $400 million gap in the State’s finances over the forward estimates.
The State Government today issued a national call to action for all caring Australians to lobby Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – the so-called PM for Closing the Gap – to solve the current impasse and prevent indigenous Australians living in remote communities from further disadvantage.
For more information, visit http://www.dontwalkaway.wa.gov.au
Part 3 Labor Press Release TURNBULL WALKS AWAY FROM REMOTE INDIGENOUS HOUSING
Malcolm Turnbull has turned his back on remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland, with funding for remote housing in those states ceasing yesterday.
This is despite Senator Nigel Scullion’s repeated claims to contrary over the past six months.
This year’s Budget confirmed there would be no additional funding for these states in the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing. Only the NT will continue to receive Commonwealth support to tackle overcrowding.
Shadow Homelessness Minister Doug Cameron said the Turnbull Government is walking away from remote communities. “This cut shows an appalling lack of leadership and a complete misunderstanding of the Close the Gap framework,” Senator Cameron said.
“Overcrowding is a root cause of Indigenous disadvantage because it leads to a range of other social and health problems in remote communities. Prior to the Budget, Senator Scullion’ described claims he was cutting the agreement as ‘fiction’ and ‘nonsense’.
In December 2017, Senator Scullion told the Guardian Australia that “commonwealth officials are in discussion with their state counterparts regarding future funding arrangements. This will include further Commonwealth funding.”
Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Patrick Dodson, said housing underpins all of the Close the Gap targets. “Without a decent place to live, the task of closing the gap in health or education becomes only more difficult,” Senator Dodson said.
According to a 2017 review of the program, by 2018 the strategy will have delivered 4,000 new houses and 7,500 refurbishments The NPA is estimated to have led to a significant decrease in the proportion of overcrowded houses in remote and very remote areas.
It has also been a driver of job creation and Indigenous business’s in many remote communities.
With Malcolm Turnbull’s refresh of the Close the Gap strategy now underway, it is critical that the Turnbull Government does not walk away from any of the current targets.
Instead of walking away from programs that work – the Turnbull Government should be working with Indigenous communities to ensure services are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible.