A Shorten Labor Government will address overcrowding and create jobs in remote Indigenous communities with a $1.5 billion, ten-year investment.
Housing shortages and chronic overcrowding contribute to poor outcomes in health, education, employment and community safety for residents living in remote communities.
In 2014-15, more than half of Indigenous Australians in very remote areas lived in overcrowded households, and overcrowding is the leading contributor to Indigenous homelessness.
We cannot close the gap if people don’t have a roof over their heads.
Yet Scott Morrison and Nigel Scullion have refused to provide certainty to remote communities and left some states with nothing for remote housing.
Labor will not turn its back on Australians living in remote communities. A Shorten Labor Government will:
- Provide a decade of funding certainty to the Northern Territory, by committing an additional $550 million over 5 years from 2023-24, double the commitment by the Liberals.
- Provide $251 million in funding to Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia in 2019-20.
Following these interim arrangements, Labor will work with the States and Territories to develop a genuine, ongoing partnership to tackle the issue of overcrowding, as part of the Closingthe Gap Refresh.
When last in office, Labor initiated the National Partnership Agreement for Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH), which saw a record $5.4 billion invested over 10 years to reduce overcrowding and address chronic housing shortages.
An independent review of NPARIH in 2017 found it had built or refurbished 11,500 homes in remote areas, successfully decreasing the proportion of overcrowded households in remote and very remote areas.
The review also found that a further 5,500 houses are needed to meet the existing shortfall of housing and accommodate future population growth by 2028.
The Liberals’ mishandling of remote housing policy has jeopardised the progress achieved over the past decade and severely undermined efforts to improve Closing the Gap outcomes.
This election will be a choice between a genuine partnership to improve remote housing under Labor, or tax cuts for the top end of town under the Liberals.
Only a Shorten Labor Government will deliver a fair go for Australia’s First Nations peoples in remote communities.
WEDNESDAY, 1 MAY 2019