Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Leases signed for Hermannsburg and Lajamanu

Joint Media Release with:

  • Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari
    Dr Chris Burns MLA, NT Minister for Public and Affordable Housing

The Northern Territory communities of Hermannsburg and Lajamanu have signed 40 year leases which will allow work to begin on building new houses.

Under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing between the Australian and Northern Territory Government, 26 new houses will be built in Hermannsburg and 17 in Lajamanu.

In addition, the existing housing will be assessed to determine the complete package of works for these communities.

Work on refurbishments and construction of new houses will commence in 2012 for Lajamanu community and in 2013 in Hermannsburg.

$8.7 million will fund the housing works in Lajamanu with a further $9.6 million available for housing works in Hermannsburg.

The National Partnership Agreement will help to reduce overcrowding and is critical for protecting children, improving health, education and employment and re-building positive community norms.

The successful lease negotiations with Hermannsburg and Lajamanu follows extensive consultations with Traditional Owners.

With the signing of the leases, Hermannsburg and Lajamanu now join 49 Northern Territory communities and a number of Town Camps benefiting from the Governments’ unprecedented level of investment in housing and infrastructure.

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

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 30% Indigenous employment.

The Central Land Council has been instrumental in securing these leases, and the Australian and Northern Territory Governments commend the CLC for their contribution towards better outcomes for indigenous communities.

The $1.7 billion in funding over ten years under the National Partnership Agreement represents an unprecedented level of investment by any Government in remote Indigenous housing in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Government has so far delivered more than 280 new houses and close to 1500 refurbishments and rebuilds of houses. The program is on target to build 934 new houses and 2915 rebuilds and refurbishments by the end of 2013 in the Northern Territory.