Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New housing and jobs for Yarrabah

Joint Media Release with:

  • Curtis Pitt MP, Queensland Minister for Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    Senator Jan McLucas, Queensland

Eleven new houses will be built in Yarrabah, near Cairns, in Queensland to reduce overcrowding in the community.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Queensland Senator, Jan McLucas, today visited Yarrabah to announce that Metrobuild Constructions has been selected to build these new homes.

This $2.85 million investment in new homes is part of the Australian Government’s commitment of $7 million for additional housing in Yarrabah, with more houses to be built in the future.

“Decent housing is essential for protecting children, improving health, education and employment and for re-building positive community norms,” Ms Macklin said.

“The new houses will help to reduce overcrowding in Yarrabah, which means that children will be safer and families will have more space of their own.”

Seven new four bedroom homes and four two bedroom homes will be built.

Yarrabah Shire Council will construct the four new two bedroom homes in partnership with Metrobuild. In addition, Metrobuild will be required to meet a minimum target of 20 per cent Indigenous employment for construction of the seven four bedroom homes.

The Australian Government is also providing $85,000 through the Indigenous Employment Program to employ a mentor to work with local job seekers, the building company and Job Service providers to help get local people ready for work on the project.

“This development will create opportunities for local people to learn new skills and gain trade qualifications while working,” Ms Macklin said.

Senator McLucas said at least ten local indigenous people will be employed to build the houses, with employment numbers expected to increase in the next phase of housing construction.

“This will give Indigenous people the opportunity to complete training in general construction, work safety and carpentry and set them on their way to future work in the building industry,” Senator McLucas said.

The houses are being built in the $2.6 million Djenghi sub-division, which has been developed by the Australian Government to provide better housing options for the Yarrabah community.

The Queensland Minister for Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Curtis Pitt said the new houses will be managed as part of the Queensland social housing system with appropriate tenancy management to ensure responsible tenancy.

This means tenants will have clear responsibilities to pay rent and the Queensland Government will have responsibility to ensure repairs and maintenance are carried out routinely.

“This is great news for Yarrabah and it’s a further sign of Labor’s commitment to closing the gap on indigenous housing,” Mr Pitt said.

“The new housing will not only help to reduce overcrowding, it will also deliver real opportunities for locals.

“It will mean more job opportunities and the chance to learn important skills in building and construction.

“This is the start of a brighter future for Yarrabah.”

The Djenghi sub division will also provide opportunity for private home ownership, with 13 blocks set aside for people to buy homes under a 99 year lease arrangement.