Evidence that Labor governments federally and in the Territory have failed on Indigenous housing continues to grow after Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion found some appalling living conditions during a trip to Maningrida this week.
“I found there were 23 people living in a two bedroom home – that is just atrocious and should not happen in a country like Australia,” Senator Scullion said.
“I am disgusted and every Australian will feel the same way once they hear about this.
“I found dodgy refurbishments done under the government program with one example where holes in a leaky roof were just painted over and once the monsoon started, in came the rain via the leaks again.
“I know of an elderly couple who have been on the waiting list for a new house at Maningrida for months but they have been forced to live in a tent while watching lower need tenants moving into the new homes.
“There are also issues with drainage in the new suburb with water pooling in areas that will wear down the newly built streets instead of draining away.
“What I found in Maningrida just backed up what the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) found late last year – the SIHIP program is out of control and mismanaged with no transparency in expenditure, and money wasted on housing that fails to meet the minimum public housing standards.
“The Territory Government’s Department of Housing is signing off on repairs and refurbishments that don’t meet minimum housing standards with renovations being fix and make safe, simply to save money in a program that has wasted millions.
“Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin must finally step in and ask the hard questions as to exactly where all hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars in SIHIP is going.
“I know I will be asking such questions at the next Senate Estimates in mid-February to try and get some answers on the disaster that Indigenous housing has became under Labor,” Senator Scullion said.
Media contact: Russel Guse – 0438 685645
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120118 maningrida housing release.pdf