Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New lease clears path for $27 million investment in Numbulwar

Joint Media Release with:

  • Dr Chris Burns MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Education and Training, Public and Affordable Housing
    Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari

The Northern Territory community of Numbulwar in east Arnhem Land has signed a 40 year lease which will allow work to begin on building new houses in the community.

$27 million will be invested in housing works in Numbulwar under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

Work on refurbishments and construction of new houses is planned to commence in 2012.

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

Local Indigenous people will have access to employment and training opportunities as part of the housing works, with a target of 20 per cent Indigenous employment over the duration of the program. Currently the program is achieving over 30 per cent Indigenous employment in the Northern Territory.

The successful lease negotiations follow extensive consultations with the Numbulwar Traditional Owners.

With the signing of the lease, Numbulwar now joins over 70 Northern Territory communities and town camps benefiting from the Governments’ unprecedented level of investment in housing and infrastructure.

Under the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing, the Australian Government is investing $1.7 billion over ten years in the Northern Territory.

Secure land tenure is needed to underpin this substantial investment to ensure that governments have responsibility for maintaining houses and are able to implement proper tenancy management.

To date more than 340 new houses have been built and over 1700 refurbishments and rebuilds of houses have been completed in the Northern Territory.

The program is on target to build 934 new houses and 2915 rebuilds and refurbishments in the Northern Territory by the end of 2013.

The Traditional Owners, Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust and the Northern Land Council have been instrumental in securing this lease, and the Australian and Northern Territory Governments commend them for their contributions towards better outcomes for Indigenous communities.

Getting housing right is critical to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.