The Gunner Government’s remote housing programme risks becoming as shambolic as the former Federal Labor government’s SIHIP housing programme and will leave NT remote communities languishing in poor housing conditions indefinitely, Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said.
“Reports in the NT News that no one within the Gunner Government is overseeing the first $10 million stage of the massive $1 billion housing programme are extremely alarming, and all Territorians should be concerned by these revelations.
The NT News quotes an industry insider as saying, “they’ll run out of money and realise the project’s not done.”
Even more concerning are serious allegations that Indigenous workers were cynically used as props in a ‘media stunt’ and were replaced with fly-in, fly-out workers from Adelaide soon after the media event.
“Such allegations go to the character of Housing Minister Gerry McCarthy to arrange such a disgraceful exploitive act and Mr Gunner must repudiate his actions in the strongest terms.
“These are disturbing and significant allegations, and if found to be true, Minister McCarthy should resign, and if he doesn’t, the Chief Minister should sack him.
“Labor governments federally and at the NT level have a damning history of failure in rolling out remote housing with the disastrous multi-million dollar Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Programme (SIHIP) plagued by cost blowouts, delays and shoddy work on housing that failed to meet the minimum public housing standards.
“As Federal Minister I am ready to work with the NT Government to help improve the lives and living conditions in NT remote communities, but I will not stand by and watch this gross waste, mismanagement and incompetence unfold.”