Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New alliance partners for NT Indigenous housing

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Rob Knight MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Housing

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments today announced details of three building industry consortiums that will deliver the largest upgrade of housing ever undertaken in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

The consortiums will deliver the $647 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) – a joint program between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

The successful alliance partners are Earth Connect Alliance, New Future Alliance and Territory Alliance.

Each will design and construct housing works packages with an emphasis on training and jobs for Indigenous people. Specific targets for employment and training of Indigenous people will be negotiated with performance-related financial incentives and penalties.

The housing works packages will be delivered across 73 communities and targeted urban living areas – 16 communities will receive major capital works and 57 communities will receive housing refurbishments.

The program will deliver:

  • around 750 new houses including new subdivisions
  • more than 230 new houses to replace houses to be demolished
  • more than 2 500 housing upgrades
  • essential infrastructure to support new houses
  • improvements to living conditions in town camps

“Housing is central to the national agenda for closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Macklin said.

“The Australian and NT Governments are determined to address housing needs in remote communities in ways that re-build community norms and support healthy outcomes for families and children.”

A key focus of the Program is to provide local jobs and training opportunities for Indigenous people and specific targets for employment and training will be negotiated with Alliance Partners.

The alliance model of business working together with governments and the community heralds a new approach for Governments in delivering major housing works in the Northern Territory

“The program’s measures will ensure Indigenous Territorians have access to job and training opportunities in their own communities,” Mr Knight said.

“When the program is finished, these Territorians will have new skills and training that will open the door to future job opportunities, including construction, delivering long lasting benefits for their communities.”

SIHIP represents a major capital investment for both governments. Long term leases must be in place in the 16 communities before work can commence.

Leases have already been secured at Nguiu and negotiations are underway in Tennant Creek and on Groote Eylandt. These leases are expected to be finalised later this month.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments are working with land councils, communities and in urban living areas to secure appropriate land tenure in the remaining communities.

Work on upgrading essential services is expected to commence in Tennant Creek and at Nguiu in November this year with housing works to follow in Tennant Creek, at Nguiu and on Groote Eylandt from April 2009.

The entire program is scheduled for completion by June 2013.

The Northern Territory Government has approved the appointment of the alliance partners and will manage the delivery of this program.

Alliance Partners and their members

Earth Connect Alliance

Canstruct Pty Ltd
WorleyParsons Services Pty Ltd
Force 10 International Pty Ltd
Greene & Associates Pty Ltd
Ostwald Bros. Pty Ltd

Territory Alliance Partners are

Sitzler Pty Ltd
Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd
McMahon Services Australia Pty Ltd

With a Sub Alliance Participant

Compass Group (Australia) Pty Ltd

New Future Alliance

Leighton Pty Ltd
Broad Construction Services Pty Ltd
Opus Pty Ltd
Ngarda Civil & Mining Pty Ltd