Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$110 million for remote housing in the West Kimberley

Joint Media Release with:

  • Troy Buswell MLA, WA Minister for Housing and Works

The West Kimberley region will benefit from more than $110 million over the next four years to provide remote Indigenous communities with new houses, major upgrades and repairs to existing houses.

This funding is part of the Remote Indigenous Housing National Partnership announced by the Council of Australian Governments in November 2008, providing $5.5 billion over the next 10 years for housing reforms in remote Indigenous communities across Australia.

This is the largest single investment any government has ever made to tackle the appalling living conditions of Indigenous people in remote communities.

Housing is central to protecting children, getting them to school, improving health and hygiene and shaping parents’ everyday norms like going to work.

The Australian Government is committed to supplying decent housing as part of the comprehensive agenda to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

This funding will enable new houses and upgrades to be delivered in major communities in West Kimberley, including the Remote Service Delivery sites on the Dampier Peninsula, Ardyaloon and Beagle Bay.

Indigenous people in West Kimberley will also have access to training and real job opportunities, including in trades and construction.

As part of the agreement, the West Australian Government will take responsibility for delivering housing and tenancy management services to ensure the houses are managed in the same way all public housing is managed in Western Australia.

Tenants will be required to sign up to, and adhere to, normal tenancy agreements – an important lever in our drive to rebuild positive community values and behaviour.

This package will also ensure secure land tenure is in place where new houses are being built and upgraded.

Secure tenure underpins the Government’s significant investment in Indigenous housing and is necessary to improve housing in Indigenous communities.

It is also essential to protect assets and ensure ongoing repairs and maintenance.

A decent place to live is fundamental to reaching the ambitious targets we’ve set in health, education and employment.