LGAQ slams indigenous housing decision

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has spoken out against the Turnbull Government’s moves to stop funding to an indigenous housing program.

The National Partnership Alliance on Remote Housing program has provided jobs and shelter for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities since 2008 and has contributed $5.4 billion into creating sufficient housing.

Chief Executive Officer of LGAQ Greg Hallam said the Government has signalled there will be no money provided to the program after this financial year.

“This program has created hundreds of jobs and provided thousands of new or refurbished homes in Queensland since 2008 yet the Federal Government is preparing to axe future funding after June this year,” Mr Hallam said.

“We are not going to stand by and watch Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull walk away from a program that is so fundamental to the future of indigenous communities in Queensland.”

“I urge all MPs and senators to do what they can to make sure this vital funding continues,’’ Mr Hallam said.

“The Prime Minister is due within days to report to Parliament on progress reaching targets on Closing the Gap in indigenous disadvantage.

“Any move to axe the indigenous housing program will not only cast a large shadow over what he says. It will amount to an abrogation of the Government’s Closing the Gap responsibilities.”

The LGAQ has written to members of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee asking them to examine the impact defunding the indigenous housing program would have on other projects aimed at easing overcrowding and homelessness in Australia.