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Aboriginal homes across the Barkly set for upgrades after NT and Federal governments announce $4 billion deal

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The Territory and Federal Labor governments announced a landmark $4 billion investment this week to improve Aboriginal housing in remote communities across the Territory.

The investment will see 2,700 [homes built] across the Territory’s remote communities in the next 10 years, with 270 homes built each year.

The Territory government and federal government have each committed $1.9 billion to reducing overcrowding and improving living conditions across the Territory.

The NT Government continues to contribute $40 million a year to improvements in housing and infrastructure upgrades in homelands, while the Federal government has committed to match the investment for three years, increasing the funding in homelands to $120 million.

Chief Minister Eva Lawler and Minister for Remote Housing and Homelands Selena Uibo made the announcement at Rusca Bros, one of the Aboriginal companies that build homes in Darwin for remote communities.

Since 2016, Labor has made significant headway towards alleviating overcrowding in our remote communities, having built and upgraded around 3,800 homes, including over 460 homes in the Barkly community alone.

Minister Selena Uibo said the agreement is a “game changer” for the Territory and is key to building sustainable skills for a local workforce with a circular economy that has already begun.

“This will make a huge dent in the issues that we face in overcrowding, but it will also focus on providing the pipeline for the economic benefit around how we ensure the workforce is stable and that we continue to focus on jobs and skills in our remote communities,” she said.

“This investment means more homes for people in our remote areas.

“It means ongoing work and training opportunities for locals.

“It means business and management opportunities for locally-based Aboriginal organisations. It means support for businesses across the NT.”

“We are not only building homes in remote communities but also providing work, income, and skills for Territorians to build resilient communities.”

The new partnership will continue the work of renovating homes, with disability modifications and extra living spaces to accommodate for the needs of the Territorian communities. Chief Minister Eva Lawler said this partnership will achieve ‘unprecedented’ outcomes to remote communities.

“The commitment to build 2,700 homes in ten years means new homes for more than 10,000 people,” she said.

“The years to come will provide safer and more secure homes for remote area residents, as well as employment and training opportunities for those who live in our communities and homelands.”

A Partnership Agreement will be established between the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments, Aboriginal Housing NT and Aboriginal Land Councils to support the delivery of this landmark project.

A further $1 million will be provided by the Commonwealth to Aboriginal Housing NT over the next two years to support their role in this Partnership Agreement.

Tennant & District Times 15 March 2024

This article appeared in Tennant & District Times, 15 March 2024.

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