Evidence has come to light that the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin deliberately lied to Australians about the number of houses completed under the Federal Government’s Indigenous housing program.
“Three weeks ago Ms Macklin praised the states for their ‘sound progress’ following her Government’s ‘major reforms on remote Indigenous housing’ and said the Northern Territory Government had built 67 houses including six at Gunbalanya,” Senator Nigel Scullion said.
“But in fact it was only in the last week that all the houses were handed over at Gunbalanya – three weeks after her announcement. Community reports indicate totals for the Tiwi Islands and at Groote Eylandt at the time were also false.
“This comes on the back of a report from the Central Desert Shire that there are only 22 houses for 150 people in Engawala community north-east of Alice Springs, with up to 19 people living in one house.
“What hope is there for communities which don’t have an allocation under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program if the Government can’t even build the houses originally promised?
“The fraud even extends to Wadeye where the community was originally promised 105 houses but they will now receive 105 dwellings, with one bedroom units being counted as a house. In addition, the head works needed for new house blocks have now been axed from the project.
“Ms Macklin may think it’s acceptable to mislead Australians about the number of houses completed in order to allay criticism about the slow pace of progress, but Aboriginal Australians should not have to pay the cost.
“It is clear that this government and this minister cannot manage taxpayer funds and will say and do anything to cover up their failures. If elected, a Coalition Government will actually deliver the houses and infrastructure promised in 2007.”
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Macklin’s Indigenous houses don’t exist 5.8.10.pdf