Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New housing opportunities in Ilpeye Ilpeye

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Karl Hampton MLA, Minister for Central Australia
    The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

The chance to own their own home is a step closer for Alice Springs traditional owners living at Ilpeye Ilpeye, a town camp located on the eastern boundary of Alice Springs.

Through the Australian Government’s acquisition of the land, the underlying tenure of Ilpeye Ilpeye has changed from community lease to freehold held by the Commonwealth. Any underlying native title is preserved.

Rather than entering a sublease, the Ilpeye Ilpeye Housing Association believes acquisition by the Australian Government is a preferable option to move towards individual home ownership.

With the change to freehold, it will be possible to subdivide the land into individual housing blocks. Negotiations will now start on developing a housing model to meet Ilpeye Ilpeye residents’ aspirations for individual home ownership.

These new tenure arrangements also mean that the fix and make safe program will start on Monday 1 February 2010 at Ilpeye Ilpeye to make urgent repairs to the houses.

Capital work on housing and infrastructure will get underway as part of the $100 million investment in housing and infrastructure being delivered in the Alice Springs town camps through the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP).

Between 60 and 100 people, including many children, live in 10 houses in Ilpeye Ilpeye and residents are looking forward to work beginning and the prospect of home ownership.

This development follows discussions on land tenure reform between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the Alice Springs Housing Associations over the past two years.

Land tenure reform is vital to support the delivery of SIHIP, the largest investment in housing and infrastructure in the history of the Northern Territory.

Last December, Housing Associations representing 17 of the 18 town camps decided to enter into 40 year subleases.

The Australian Government has consulted extensively with traditional owners and residents on the future tenure arrangements for Ilpeye Ilpeye. The advice and contribution of the traditional owners is essential to bring about lasting reforms for the town of Alice Springs.

Minister Macklin has personally had several discussions with Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, the native title representative body for Alice Springs, and the directors of the Ilpeye Ilpeye Housing Association.

Having considered all the necessary material in accordance with the legislation, the Minister has decided to issue a notice to acquire Ilpeye Ilpeye under the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 (NTNER Act).

This acquisition comes into effect on 9am Central Standard time, 1 February 2010.

Just terms compensation will paid in accordance with the provisions of the NTNER Act. It is Minister Macklin’s understanding that the traditional owners intend to use this money to improve housing.

The Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton and the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, welcomed the new tenure arrangements for Ilpeye Ilpeye, which will lead to improved living conditions for families.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments will immediately convene a working group with the Housing Association and Lhere Artepe to assist with the development of a housing model to facilitate home ownership opportunities for residents.

While this work is underway, the existing written residential tenancy arrangements will be preserved. The land will be leased to the Northern Territory Government to manage those tenancy arrangements for the next three years.