Mr GUYULA to MINISTER for HOUSING and COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Of the $1.1bm investment in the remote housing over 10 years how much will be allocated to home lands? Will Indigenous leaders be able to decide where those houses are built or are we subject to decision from foreigners about what is best for our people?
Madam Speaker, I thank Member for Nhulunbuy for his question.
The $1.1bm over 10 years will be for Indigenous regional and remote housing on communities. The homeland program is a separate program.
This government provided more money for the homeland extra allowance to do repairs and maintenance on homeland housing. You have hit on a very important point: the Commonwealth cashed up a deal with the CLP in the last term around homelands. They gave the CLP a cash sum and then handed the responsibility to the Northern Territory Government; this is a major responsibility, as you would know. Now this government is working through a process of how we deal with new infrastructure on homelands. We have the plan to maintain existing infrastructure; it is about new infrastructure.
I was very privileged to attend a meeting of the ABA—a full meeting—along with my colleagues, the Members for Arafura and Stuart, where they had a $40m investment into homelands on the table. They have come to the table in terms of the Labor government’s policy around co-contribution. We have to get smart and think in terms of how we can generate these important funds for new infrastructure in homelands.
Going back to the $1.1bn, a record investment, do not forget that we want to take this to the table. I have had a letter from the federal minister, Mr Scullion, to meet. I am very pleased that he has made contact and I will do my best at that table. Member for Nhulunbuy, it is about leveraging the Commonwealth government to match that Northern Territory ,if not more, to create the next national partnership agreement into Indigenous housing and take it on over the next 10 years.
In parallel will be homelands and we are serious about working with homelands…
Ms LAMBLEY: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing Order 110: relevance. The member asked specifically how much will be spent on homelands housing.
Mr McCARTHY: Madam Speaker, the member was talking about the $1.1bn. It is into Indigenous remote housing and, as I was telling you, it is really important that we work out new ways of funding homelands and new infrastructure programs. We are serious about that and doing it in partnership with communities, not dictating, but in partnership, like our $1.1bn investment.