Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$9.5 million to Help Ease Wadeye Housing Crisis

The Howard Government has moved to ease the overcrowding of houses in the Wadeye community by approving the construction of up to 25 new homes, at a cost of around $9.5 million.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced the three bedroom homes for Wadeye would not only relieve the housing crisis, but could also provide work and training opportunities for locals.

“It is estimated that up to 150 people will benefit from the building of the homes, some of which will replace existing houses that are in extremely poor condition and no longer fit for families to call home,” Senator Patterson said.

“In addition to the houses, funding will be provided to connect essential services such as power, water and sewerage to ten vacant blocks of land where some of the new homes will be built while the community’s drainage system will be upgraded.

“Importantly, the new homes will provide a far healthier environment in which parents can raise their children, all too often poor living conditions lead to ill health, particularly in young children and babies.

“The new project will sustain several trade apprenticeships for locals and will provide further work for the local concrete pre-cast factory.

“Wadeye has been identified as a priority due to the high level of overcrowding and because a substantial proportion of houses are old and in very bad condition.

“The Howard Government has already provided strong support to the Wadeye community including $9.5 million to build 34 new homes and renovate 14 homes under the National Aboriginal Health Strategy.

“This work has been completed and it provided 18 locals with almost 18 months work and 200 days of training.

“While there have been some important steps forward in recent years, we all know that there is still much to be done for the Wadeye community and the Howard Government will continue to work with the Northern Territory Government and the community to achieve a better life for the people of Wadeye,” Senator Patterson said.