The Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance (TCICA) Inc is calling on Scott Morrison to match Bill Shorten’s $1.5 billion commitment to address housing shortages and chronic overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities.
TCICA Chair Mayor Vonda Malone, welcomed Labor’s announcement and said it addressed the single most important issue on the TCICA’s agenda for the election.
“Our strong advocacy on remote Indigenous housing has seen results and we thank Bill Shorten for listening to us, but Scott Morrison needs to listen too.
“The TCICA appreciates Warren Entsch’s support on this critical issue, but his words are meaningless unless they are backed up by Scott Morrison.
“We don’t want to wait until the dying days of the election campaign to hear from Mr Morrison, he must tell us now what his plans are,” Mayor Malone said.
TCICA Deputy Chair Mayor Eddie Newman, said the Commonwealth’s handling of Indigenous housing has been extremely disappointing and that hundreds of local jobs have been lost as a result.
“The squabbling that has been going on between Nigel Scullion and the Queensland Government has done no justice whatsoever to the people in our communities crying out for help to put a safe roof over their heads.
“Hundreds of Indigenous people across the region who worked on building and refurbishing houses under the previous program have also lost out on ongoing employment and training opportunities,” Mayor Newman said.
Mayor Malone said that reducing homelessness and overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities is critical if the disparity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the non-Indigenous population is to be closed and lives are to be improved for the long term.
“It is no secret that overcrowding of housing is leading to poorer Indigenous health and well-being outcomes and limiting opportunities for the growth and development of Indigenous communities.
“Access to secure housing is a fundamental human right and is of key importance to closing the 15 year gap in health adjusted life expectancy in our region.
“Ensuring our kids have the opportunity to grow up in a safe, clean and healthy environment will give them the best start in life and help close the gap,” Mayor Malone said.
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