Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Safe housing for young Indigenous Australians

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michelle Roberts MP, Minister for Housing and Works Indigenous Affairs Heritage and Land Information

Hostels to provide accommodation for up to 100 young people will be built in four remote West Australian communities to give young Indigenous Australians better education and training opportunities.

The hostels will be constructed in Halls Creek, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Broome over the next financial year under a joint agreement between the Australian and West Australian Governments.

The Australian Government has committed $10 million to fund the construction with the West Australian Government taking responsibility for the project management.

Conditions including the employment of Indigenous workers and the provision of an external project manager will be built into the agreement. Both governments have committed to developing a shared arrangement to fund recurrent costs.

Each hostel will have the capacity to accommodate around 24 young people needing stable, affordable accommodation while they go to school or complete training courses.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said the new hostels would be modeled on the ‘Better Life’ Project based in Halls Creek.

“There is an urgent need to provide young Indigenous people with safe, secure housing away from overcrowded living conditions, dysfunctional family life and alcohol, drugs and gambling.

“Access to good quality accommodation and education and training opportunities means young people have a chance to break out of the cycle of disadvantage into real employment and a positive future.

The Western Australian Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Michelle Roberts, said the partnership between Federal and State Governments was focused on achieving better outcomes for Indigenous Western Australians.

“Our experience in Halls Creek tells us that suitable housing is critical success factor in young Indigenous people having the opportunity to become job ready through vocational education and training,” Mrs Roberts said.