Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$64.6 million committed to Northern Territory for Indigenous housing

The Australian Government is providing $64.6 million to housing in the Northern Territory in the 2007-08 financial year, through the Aboriginal Rental Housing Program and Community Housing and Infrastructure Program (CHIP).

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today approved this funding, which is in addition to the $22.9 million CHIP funding already allocated for housing and infrastructure in the Territory.

“The funding will allow the Northern Territory Government to construct 126 new houses and provide upgrades to a further 163,” Ms Macklin said.

“Economic development lies at the heart of the Rudd Government’s plan to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“This can only occur if there is a sound foundation of education and training, and a commitment to engage local skilled staff to deliver Indigenous housing services.

“Funding will be provided to the Northern Territory Government to improve access for Indigenous Australians to adequate housing and housing related infrastructure in Northern Territory Indigenous communities.

“I have asked the Northern Territory Government to take immediate action to expand and maximise Indigenous training and employment outcomes in the area of construction and maintenance.”

Ms Macklin today met with the Northern Territory Acting Chief Minister, Marion Scrymgour, and Minister for Housing and Local Government, Elliot McAdam, to discuss the new partnership between the Federal and Northern Territory Governments.

“We agreed to work together on closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in the Northern Territory and mechanisms for facilitating this,” Ms Macklin said.

“And I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Northern Territory Government.”