Queensland’s nation leading remote housing at risk from Federal cuts

Published: Comments:
Australian Government Political Property & Real Estate Queensland Government

This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only.

The Federal Government’s Report on Government Services has again awarded Queensland top marks for remote indigenous housing, just weeks after withdrawing funding from the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing, putting the state’s progress towards Closing the Gap at risk.

Minister for Housing and Public Works said the provision of housing for remote indigenous communities was critical to Closing the Gap, and the Turnbull Government’s decision to withdraw funding would see that gap widen catastrophically.

“The Federal Government’s report shows that through building housing in remote communities, Queensland is making significant strides toward Closing the Gap in these communities,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve built almost 1,150 homes in remote indigenous communities.

“Almost 1,500 homes have been refurbished, and 4,300 homes maintained, but more importantly this program has resulted in 850 jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprentices and trainees.

“Today, Queensland leads the nation in indigenous employment for projects funded through this program, achieving a figure of 87 percent.

“This is well above the 20 percent target set for all states, and well above the next best state result of 47 percent.

“More than 80 percent of housing construction projects are delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils in their communities, which is a huge gain from the historic figure of around ten percent.

“But now, Malcolm Turnbull is throwing all that on the scrap heap, and walking away from his responsibilities.”

Mr de Brenni said that while Queensland had made excellent progress in reducing overcrowding in remote communities, more needed to be done.

“Overcrowding is a significant issue in these communities,” Mr de Brenni said.

“It tends to increase with remoteness, and is more prevalent with rented properties. It is also impacted by cultural practices such as high residential mobility and cultural obligations to accommodate kin.

“And it has significant ramifications for health, for education, employment and crime.

“Overcrowded dwellings are difficult to live in, especially for children. People don’t get enough sleep, tempers flare, and children find themselves roaming the streets just to get some breathing space away from the tension.

“Kids who can’t sleep struggle at school, and for adults it’s harder to find and maintain steady employment.

“What’s really concerning is that we see diseases like rheumatic fever in overcrowded homes in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, a disease which can lead to heart disease and heart failure – and which is virtually unheard of in twenty-first century Australia outside these communities.

“Addressing overcrowding through the provision of housing results in tangible, measurable outcomes toward Closing the Gap, and it’s absolutely shameful that Malcolm Turnbull is walking away from his responsibilities.”

The Federal Government’s Remote Housing Review, released at the end of 2017, recommends that secure, quality housing is necessary to Close the Gap.

Despite this, just before Christmas the Turnbull Government advised it would de-fund the National Partnership on Remote Housing, a loss of $245 million to Queensland.

“The Turnbull Government’s own report states clearly that housing is not simply an outcome in and of itself, it’s a necessary step toward achieving the outcome of Closing the Gap,” Mr de Brenni said.

“But Malcolm Turnbull and his Minister Nigel Scullion have ignored their own report, and ignored the ‘Closing the Gap’ report – instead they’re taking away funds which are desperately needed for the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders living in remote communities.

“All Australians will be looking to the Prime Minister’s upcoming Closing the Gap Report Statement to Parliament, to see Malcolm Turnbull fulfil his responsibilities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children, instead of turning his back on remote communities.

“The lives of some of our most marginalised Queenslanders depend on this funding.”

Social housing satisfaction

Mr de Brenni said the 2018 Report on Government Services indicated Queensland’s social housing and homelessness support systems continue to lead the nation.

“We have the most targeted social housing system in this state, ensuring that those most in need have the highest priority for social housing,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The report shows 96.9 per cent of new public housing allocations were to households with the greatest need, compared with the national average of 74.3 per cent.

“In the area of community housing, 98.5 per cent of housing allocations were to people with the greatest need, compared to the national average of 86.4 per cent, and for Indigenous housing the figure was 96.6 per cent, compared to the national average of 58.8 per cent.”

Mr de Brenni said the $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027 – announced last June – would boost housing and homelessness support even further.

“The Queensland Housing Strategy is totally transforming the way housing services are delivered to better support people in need,” he said.

“It is ensuring those most in need are supported by a safety net of targeted early interventions, flexible packages of support, supportive social housing, and genuine wraparound services.

“And it is providing clear pathways to secure and affordable housing, no matter where you live or what your circumstances are.

“Importantly, it is linking housing with skills, training and education, especially for young people, and acknowledging that housing is a key foundation for social and economic participation.”

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Department of Housing and Public Works : Queensland Government :
GPO Box 2457, Brisbane QLD 4001, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Department of Housing and Public Works : Queensland Government
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Overwhelming Response to Renting Consultation 16 October 2018 | In just two and a half weeks, more than 29,000 Queenslanders have had their say on renting a place to live in our state. More information...
The Palaszczuk Government Opening the Doors to Renting Reform 30 September 2018 | The Queensland Government is undertaking a state-wide consultation in readiness for important reforms to residential tenancy laws for renters and property owners to ensure Queenslanders needs will be met now and... More information...
Reforms strengthen high standards of Queensland’s building and construction industry 05 September 2018 | Plumbing and gasfitting are good jobs, but the laws governing their trade - the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 - had been amended by more than 30 separate Bills during the past 15 years, making it hard to work... More information...
Dignity First, second and third with applications now open 22 June 2018 | Every Queenslander deserves somewhere safe, secure and sustainable to live, which is why the Palaszczuk Government is delivering more than 5,000 social and affordable homes, so that Queenslanders don’t have to... More information...
Safety, security and a strategic approach to sport headline a record 2018-19 HPW Budget 12 June 2018 | The Palaszczuk Government is delivering regional jobs and supporting jobs for apprentices across Queensland with this year’s Budget. More information...
Security of payment implementation supporting Queensland jobs 12 June 2018 | The Palaszczuk Government has today announced the next phase of implementation of its historic Building Industry Fairness legislation, which will deliver further security for Queensland subcontractors. More information...
Buy Queensland policy enhancements to preference best practice workplaces 27 May 2018 | The Palaszczuk Government’s Buy Queensland policy will now support best practice workplaces in Queensland with the delivery of key enhancements to government’s procurement policy. More information...
Non-conforming pool fence recalled 09 May 2018 | A non-conforming pool fence sold nationally by Clark Rubber has been recalled due to safety concerns. More information...
Housing and Public Works apprenticeship program returns 04 May 2018 | Making the announcement in Queensland Parliament yesterday, Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the Housing and Public Works apprenticeship program will be rebuilt methodically, with 20 new... More information...
New era for the art of architecture 10 April 2018 | Bruce Medek’s appointment as Chair of the Board of Architects Queensland also marks the end of an era, with Professor Susan Savage completing a 15-year tenure in the role. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service