Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Short term accommodation for Alice Springs

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Rob Knight MLA, NT Minister for Housing
    The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health Rural and Regional Health & Regional Services Delivery Member for Lingiari
    Hon Karl Hampton MLA, Minister for Central Australia

New short to medium-term accommodation for Indigenous people in Alice Springs will be delivered by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to meet the pressing need for extra accommodation to combat homelessness and house the town’s large transient Indigenous population.

The accommodation builds on the $138 million already committed to the Alice Springs Transformation Plan to reduce the horrific level of overcrowding, violence and alcohol abuse in Alice Springs town camps.

It will provide almost 100 new temporary accommodation beds in the town of Alice Springs.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the projects would provide transitional accommodation and short-term accommodation for visitors to Alice Springs.

The three new short to medium term managed accommodation facilities will include:

  • The construction of a new facility to accommodate up to 49 people in managed transitional accommodation at Percy Court;
  • The refurbishment of The Lodge in the CBD to allow the reopening of 40 beds to accommodate people needing renal treatment; and
  • Eight managed accommodation beds at the existing Salvation Army facility on the east side of Alice Springs.

‘Decent housing is essential for protecting children, improving health, education and employment and rebuilding positive community norms. Families can’t function normally in overcrowded, dilapidated housing where you can’t cook a meal or children can’t sleep safely at night,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘The influx of visitors, often to access health and other services, puts further pressure on the already hopelessly overcrowded Alice Springs town camps.

‘Which is why, in Alice Springs, we are providing transitional accommodation and much-needed short term accommodation for visitors.’

Northern Territory Minister for Housing, Rob Knight said the Territory Government is committed to boosting the economy, supporting jobs for Territorians and improving the social housing stock.

‘The funding will deliver safe managed accommodation for Territorians who are in need,’ Mr Knight said.

Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said the Australian Government’s $5.64 billion investment to deliver social housing dwellings, and provide repairs and maintenance to tens of thousands more across Australia, would stimulate the local building and construction industry.

‘In the Northern Territory, more than $55 million is being invested to boost the supply of social housing stock under the Social Housing Initiative of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan,’ Mr Snowdon said.

‘In Alice Springs it means Indigenous people will have safe, secure accommodation while they are visiting the town for medical treatment and other services.’

Tenders for the construction and refurbishment of the new accommodation will be advertised in local and national papers with contracts expected to be signed by the end of October.

Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton said the Henderson Government was committed to building infrastructure and boosting services for all Territorians and this was a great announcement for Central Australia.

Construction is due to begin before the end of the year.

The Alice Springs Transformation Plan is a joint initiative between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in Alice Springs, particularly those living in town camps.

Both Governments are determined to deliver the transformation plan in Alice Springs, including the establishment of new and expanded services and accommodation facilities.

Construction of this short to medium-term accommodation is not contingent on the pending Federal Court decision on leasing arrangements in the Alice Springs town camps.