Mr GUYULA to MINISTER for HOUSING and COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Chief Minister has committed government to better local decision-making for Indigenous Territorians, why then does your $1.1bn housing investment have no avenue for expenditure in the homeland centres?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question. Let us first go to local decision-making because that was a strong election commitment that has been received well across the Northern Territory. We are putting a lot of energy into that space through the local government sector immediately and in terms of the local authorities.
Aligned with that and improvements in governance, train for local authority members and councillors and administration we have aligned significant infrastructure as well. Local authorities will have the opportunity to dialog, very directly, with the regional councils and be directly involved in improvements to their own community.
You ask a very interesting question about the link with the $1.1b program across 10 years in terms of housing. The homelands program is one that deals directly with Aboriginal land; it has some significant elements to that support for homeland residents. The program relates to improving and maintaining housing, it delivers municipal and essential services. It has the opportunity under a new policy directive around improving homeland housing, in terms of new construction, where we are looking at cofounding models.
I am very pleased to see that a significant investment from ABA, $40m has come to government to be worked in partnership. They are looking at innovation. This is a very important first step. We are saying to homeland residents; let us see where we can work together in partnership. Let us work up this cofounded model
Member for Nhulunbuy, we have not walked away from homelands. The previous CLP government cashed up, with the Commonwealth , a cheque, took the money, appropriated most of it and has left us with a significant challenge. You can point exactly to the previous government over this deal done with the Commonwealth.
We will continue to support homelands. The Minister for Education is always proud to talk about the infrastructure investment from Education into homelands schools. We will continue to work with homelands residents, and we look forward to the opportunities of working on co-funded models. I am sure, with your standing and ability in the community, you represent a very important partner in this. I look forward to your advice.