Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Agreement on Alice Springs Transformation Plan

Joint Media Release with:

  • Paul Henderson MLA, NT Chief Minister
    Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

In a major breakthrough, the Alice Springs town camp housing associations and the Tangentyere Council have signed up to a 40 year sub-lease agreement with the Australian Government, opening the way for a $138 million investment to transform the Alice Springs town camps and provide improved services in Alice Springs.

Sixteen Alice Springs town camps have taken up the Australian Government’s offer which will see the construction of new houses and major rebuilds of existing houses.

Following the housing associations’ letter to the Australian Government indicating their intention to grant leases, work will start on:

  • Cleaning up the town camps;
  • Urgent repairs to houses and infrastructure with a ‘make safe’ early works program;
  • The construction of demountables in two town camps within four weeks to house people sleeping rough; and
  • Major works, including the construction of new houses and upgrades, within eight weeks.

As part of the agreement an independent system of tenancy management will be implemented so houses are allocated and upgraded on the basis of need and tenancies are administered fairly and transparently.

This agreement is a significant win for the Australian and Northern Territory Governments, Alice Springs town camp housing associations, Tangentyere Council and town camp residents.

Currently, living conditions in the town camps are appalling.

Acute overcrowding and sub-standard housing combined with alcohol abuse, despair and hopelessness mean the most basic human right – the right to a safe and healthy life – is denied to many residents.

We are determined to get on with the job of upgrading and building new houses for the residents of the town camps.

It means we can start working together to transform the appalling living conditions endured by many people living in the Alice Springs town camps.

Together we can work to give children in the camps a better chance at a safe, healthy and happy life.

Under the Alice Springs Transformation Plan, $100 million will be spent in the town camps on construction of new houses and significant rebuilds of existing houses in poor condition.

An additional $38 million will be provided to assist with the establishment of new and expanded services and other accommodation facilities, including managed accommodation in Alice Springs.

The two remaining camps, Nywente (Trucking Yards) and Iliype Iliype (Golders), are in separate discussions with both Governments to allow the Transformation Plan to proceed there.
Lhere Artepe, the organisation representing Traditional Owners and residents in these two town camps, would like compulsory acquisition to proceed to allow home ownership and commercial development.

Further discussions with Lhere Artepe and the residents will occur over the next few days.