The Palaszczuk Government is continuing work to Close the Gap in Queensland’s remote communities, despite the recent withdrawal of dedicated funding from the Federal Government.
Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui said the provision of housing in remote communities through the National Partnership on Remote Housing is a critical measure to addressing the disparity in health, education, and employment incomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote communities and the rest of the state.
“Queensland’s delivery of remote indigenous housing leads the nation, and we have not just met but exceeded delivery targets set by the Federal Government,” Ms Lui said.
“Just last month, we’ve seen five new homes delivered in Kowanyama and each of these homes will relieve the pressure of overcrowding for families in this community.
“These homes have been delivered by the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and their construction has provided ongoing employment and training for nine workers and apprentices.
“In Queensland, we consistently deliver far higher rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment through housing construction delivered under this program – more than 80 percent is delivered by indigenous workers, up from an initial rate of just 10 percent.
“It’s those employment outcomes that we’re working toward with this housing, as well as reducing overcrowding, and improving health, education and social outcomes.”
Ms Lui said further contracts had recently been awarded to the Lockhart River and Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Councils to upgrade social housing in their communities.
“We’re not just building new housing, though that’s a key component of reducing overcrowding,” Ms Lui said.
“Through this funding, we’re upgrading and repairing housing to ensure it’s safe, secure and appropriate to live in, and that it remains in good condition so it will last.
“By upgrading and maintaining homes along with building new properties, we are maximising the positive outcomes for these communities.”
The Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said that “the Federal Government’s defunding of this program will hurt jobs, both regional and FIFO jobs – plumbers, carpenters, electricians and labourers.”
“The Federal Government’s defunding of the NPRH is a $245 million loss for Queensland. It will have negative impacts in Cairns and for all Queenslanders.”
Media contact: Cook Electorate Office 07 4223 1100