Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Hostel accommodation for Indigenous trainees and apprentices in WA

Joint Media Release with:

  • Troy Buswell MLA, WA Minister for Housing and Works

Burks Park, four kilometres from the town of Halls Creek, will be the site for the first hostel to accommodate up to 24 young Indigenous people while they complete traineeships or apprenticeships.

This hostel is part of the Australian and Western Australian Government’s commitment to accommodate up to 100 young people in four hostels in remote Western Australian towns.

The Australian Government has committed $10 million to construct the hostels and the Western Australian Government has provided the land and will manage the project.

The other three hostels will be located in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Broome.

The Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said there is an urgent need to provide young Indigenous people with stable, secure housing away from overcrowded living conditions, alcohol, drugs and gambling while they undertake education and training.

“Access to decent accommodation means young people can pursue the education and training opportunities essential to break the cycle of disadvantage and move into a job and a positive future,” Ms Macklin said.

Design work is underway and it is expected the Halls Creek hostel will be completed by the end of 2009.

Both Governments have committed to sharing the ongoing operational costs of the hostels.

The Western Australian Minister for Housing and Works, Troy Buswell, said the State and Federal Governments are committed to achieving better employment outcomes for Aboriginal people through capital works projects.

“This is a great example as the Aboriginal workforce constructing the hostel will ultimately be the occupants and beneficiaries of the completed hostel,” Mr Buswell said.

A feasibility study for the Broome, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing hostels is currently being undertaken and the report is expected in May 2009, with construction expected to commence later this year.