Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion and the newly announced Indigenous Affairs Special Envoy, Tony Abbott need to come clean on their plans to foist 30 year old houses no one else wanted on the remote Territory town of Borroloola.
Rumours are rife that Senator Scullion and Envoy Abbott will be moving 30-year-old RAAF Darwin houses to Borroloola to make up for years of inaction on the town’s housing crisis.
The secret plan is raising concerns and serious questions within Federal Labor and the community that the Minister and his Special Envoy need to answer.
- What discussions have taken place with the Borroloola community?
- How old are these houses and what is their projected life on community?
- Will Senator Scullion commit to funding ongoing maintenance for these houses?
- Are there any asbestos-related issues with the houses?
- Will this plan set a new precedent to have the army assist the Federal Government with a new remote housing model?
- How does sending in the army address Minister Scullion’s commitment to local jobs?
- And how much is this plan going to cost? Is Minister Scullion yet again dipping into the Indigenous Advancement Strategy fund?
Let’s be clear – Borroloola could have new housing right now if the Minister listened to the community. It’s been 10 years since $15 million in Federal funding was earmarked for Borroloola camps and it is still unspent because the Minister can’t come to an agreement with residents.
Minister Scullion still has not signed off on the $550 million for Northern Territory remote Indigenous housing agreement that he first agreed to nine months ago.
The Scullion-Abbott show continues to cause chaos and neglect in First Nations communities. It’s time for them to go.