Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Weatherill neglects South Australian citizens

Federal Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today attacked South Australian Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation Minister Jay Weatherill for delaying funding for much needed housing in the APY Lands in SA.

“The Australian Government put $25 million on the table for new housing and upgrades almost 12 months ago subject to important conditions designed to ensure houses last and that people living in them have some responsibility for them,” Mr Brough said.

“We have said time and time again that we will no longer throw good money after bad into a bottomless pit that ends up achieving nothing.

“No amount of brow-beating from Mr Weatherill will sway the Australian Government on these issues.

“We will no longer put in large sums of public money to build houses on private land. The old system of giving away houses to private groups and letting them run down is not tenable.

“We will build the houses so long as land tenure in the townships is fixed so the houses can be managed and owned in the same way as other public housing in SA.

“That shouldn’t be too big an ask for Mr Weatherill.

“Mr Weatherill appears not to want real change to improve the circumstances of Indigenous people in the APY Lands. He doesn’t want real change. He doesn’t want to take the hard decisions. He just wants more money for more of the same.

“In fact, housing and child protection are state responsibilities. But when it’s an Aboriginal citizen of SA he throws his hands up and says that the Commonwealth has to pay because they are black.

“It’s about time he took some responsibility and at least did what he needs to do to accept our generous offer of assistance for the APY Lands. ”