Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Leases signed for Koonibba and Yalata

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jennifer Rankine, South Australian Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability

The South Australian communities of Koonibba and Yalata have signed 40 year leases which will allow work to begin on building new houses.

Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said that under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing between the Australian and South Australian Governments, 20 new houses and 20 refurbishments are expected to be delivered in the two communities in 2011-12.

The successful lease negotiations with each of the Koonibba and Yalata communities follows extensive consultation with the community residents, Traditional Owners and landholding body, the Aboriginal Lands Trust.

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

“The Australian Government is working hard with all States and Territories to deliver better housing for Indigenous Australians.

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

Land tenure is needed to underpin the Government’s investment in housing and infrastructure and to ensure that governments have responsibility for maintenance and are able to implement proper tenancy management.

South Australian Minister for Housing Jennifer Rankine said this agreement would create a number of opportunities for local communities.

“Local Indigenous people will have access to employment and training opportunities as part of the housing construction works and there is a minimum target of 20% local Indigenous employment,” she said.

“The Aboriginal Lands Trust has been instrumental in securing these leases and the Australian and South Australian Governments commends the ALT for their contribution towards better outcomes for Indigenous communities.”

The National Partnership Agreement is an investment of just more than $290 million over ten years and represents an unprecedented level of investment by any Government in remote Indigenous housing in South Australia.

Ms Rankine said that over the last two years through the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing and other Commonwealth funding some 86 new houses and 171 refurbishments have been delivered in remote South Australian communities by the South Australian Government. This includes 35 refurbishments completed in Yalata and Koonibba.

Work is on track to complete 54 new houses and 39 refurbishments across remote South Australia under the National Partnership this financial year.