Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Historic 99 year town camp sub-leases agreed in Tennant Creek

The Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation of Tennant Creek has agreed to facilitate 99 year sub-leases of town camps as part of an agreement with the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to upgrade housing and infrastructure.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said today a memorandum of understanding was signed this afternoon committing Julalikari Council to facilitate the 99 year sub-leases to the Northern Territory Government within eight weeks.

“The Commonwealth has agreed to provide $20 million towards the upgrade of essential services and infrastructure such as roads and upgrade of existing housing stock and construct new houses,” Mr Brough said.

“I commend the Chair of the Council Gina Smith and Deputy Chair Richard James and their fellow Councillors for being so dedicated to improving the well being of the 800-1500 residents and in particular the children that live in the town camps of Tennant Creek.

“They have been watching negotiations with the Tangentyere Council of Alice Springs with great interest. When they saw that Tangentyere was unlikely to agree they invited the Commonwealth Government to commence similar negotiations with them.

“Negotiations commenced about two months ago.

“Houses will be transferred to the Northern Territory Government public housing authority and will be managed in accordance with the Northern Territory housing framework just like in other parts of the Northern Territory.

“An advisory board will be established between Julalikari Council, Northern Territory Government, Australian Government and community representatives for the construction and upgrade program.

“The town camps will become like other suburbs of Tennant Creek. The children in these town camps will have a much better future as a result.

“The provisions to acquire leases of the town camps in the Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation will not apply to the town camps in Tennant Creek.”