After more than two years of consistent advocacy, new housing will finally be delivered in Queensland’s remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Indigenous councils met with senior officials from the Queensland and Australian Governments late last week to work through the detail in last year’s federal election commitment of $105 million towards remote Indigenous housing.
With the funds now on the table, Mayors came together to agree on a fair and equitable methodology for the distribution of funds across each of the 17 communities.
The final allocation of funding considered the population of each community, along with overcrowding and homelessness. A locality index was then applied to overcome the inequality created by construction costs as they vary significantly depending on the location of each local government area.
Councils will now work with the State and Commonwealth over the coming months as they prepare for the construction of new housing in their communities.
Mayors know that this funding will not end the need for significantly more investment into new housing, however it will help put roofs over the heads of the families and individuals who need it most. Beyond this commitment, they will continue to advocate strongly for a long term commitment to ensure that longstanding housing shortages can finally be overcome.
Mayors thanked housing minister Mick de Brenni and Indigenous Australians minister Ken Wyatt for working together and agreeing to move this commitment forward without any further delay. They also acknowledged the work of officers from the Department of Housing and Public Works and the National Indigenous Australians Agency, particularly on developing a proposed methodology, and the guidance and support of First Nations housing advisor Mick Gooda.