REMOTE SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY Walgett and Wilcannia in NSW

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					                     REMOTE SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY


On 21 April Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
the Hon. Jenny Macklin, MP outlined details of the $291.2 million National Partnership
on Remote Service Delivery (NP). The Minister announced the bold aim of the NP:

“…In just a few years we can build a critical mass of support and assistance to bring services and
conditions in remote Indigenous communities up to the same standard as comparably sized
communities elsewhere in Australia…” Jenny Macklin, MP 21/4/09

The strategy is intended to be comprehensive covering areas such as; education, health
care, housing, infrastructure, municipal services recreation and sporting facilities. The
new model will initially concentrate resources in 26 priority locations across Australia.
They are:

Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak, Gunbalanya, Hermannsburg, Lajamanu, Maningrida, Milingimbi,
Nguiu, Ngukurr, Numbulwar, Wadeye, Yirrkala, Yuendumu, Angurugu and Umbakumba
in the Northern Territory.

Mornington Island, Doomadgee, Hope Vale and Aurukun in Queensland.

Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia.

Amata and Mimili in South Australia, and

Walgett and Wilcannia in NSW.

The Minister stated that in identifying where to concentrate Government investment,
FaHCSIA developed a range of practical criteria including:

    •   Significant concentration of population
    •   Anticipated demographic trends and pressures
    •   The potential for economic development and employment
    •   The extent of pre-existing shortfalls in government investment in infrastructure
        and services
    •   In the Northern Territory, building on the significant investment already set in
        train

In each location there will be baseline mapping of social and economic indicators,
government investment, services and gaps in services. The Minister announced that:

“…A coordinated and comprehensive local implementation plan will be negotiated with and
tailored to the needs of each community and across government… and monitored to ensure it is
delivering on agreed upon priorities and if not will be revised…” Jenny Macklin, MP 21/4/09
COORDINATOR GENERAL FOR REMOTE INDIGENOUS SERVICES

The Minister also announced the creation of a new position of Coordinator General for
Remote Indigenous Services. The Coordinator General will:
   • Oversee the program and the implementation of major reforms in hosing,
      infrastructure and employment
   • Address service delivery issues and make sure services are delivered when and
      where they are needed
   • Monitor the provision of employment and training opportunities
   • Oversee housing tenure agreements
   • Report directly to the Minister and work across all agencies

REACTION TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT

On 21 April, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the plan had already drawn
criticism from some Indigenous groups who fear the approach to prioritise 26
communities will starve other communities of funds and force people to move to priority
areas. They warned many who live in their home country do not want to move to larger
centres where their children face greater exposure to alcohol and violence.

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON REMOTE INDIGENOUS HOUSING

The Minister noted the vital importance of improving the quality of housing to the health
and well-being of Aboriginal children and families:

“…Housing underpins our reform agenda to tackle Indigenous disadvantage across the
country…The shelter and security of a decent place to live is fundamental to reaching the
ambitious targets we’ve set in health, education and labour market participation… No child can
thrive in a house with no running water, where a dozen people share three rooms, where children
are exposed to adult activities, unmonitored visitors or violent behaviour…” Jenny Macklin, MP

The National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing sits under the umbrella of the
National Affordable Housing Agreement and specifies 3 objectives that will contribute to
the achievement of one overarching outcome of the strategy:

Objectives:
   • Significantly reducing overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities
   • Increasing the supply of new houses and improving the condition of existing
       houses in remote Indigenous communities
   • Ensuring that rental houses are well maintained in remote Indigenous
       communities

Outcome:
   • The agreement will contribute to the following outcome in the National Affordable
      Housing Agreement: Indigenous people will have improved amenity and reduced
      overcrowding, particularly in remote and discrete communities.

Over 10 years the Agreement will deliver:
   • $4.786 billion over 10 years for remote Indigenous housing including $1.9 billion
      of new money
   •   Construction of up to 4200 new houses to address severe overcrowding and
       homelessness
   •   Significant upgrades and repairs of around 4800 houses in remote Indigenous
       communities across Australia which are currently in an appalling state of
       disrepair or are uninhabitable.
   •   Improved tenancy management services
   •   Economic development opportunities through increased local employment and
       training opportunities in construction and housing management providing up to
       2000 local jobs
   •   Upgrades to housing related infrastructure in remote communities, including town
       camps
   •   Access to affordable housing options in regional centres to support employment,
       education, training opportunities and access to support services in regional areas
       of high employment
   •   The States/Territories and the Commonwealth will work towards clearer roles
       and responsibilities and funding with respect to municipal services and ongoing
       maintenance and infrastructure and essential services in remote areas.

PART 5 of the NP: FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

                2008/09                                   $333.807 million
                2009/10                                   $432.733 million
                2010/11                                   $412.783 million
                2011/12                                   $463.941 million
                2012/13                                   $478.971 million
                2013/14                                   $746.792 million
                2014/15                                   $594.352 million
                2015/16                                   $463.176 million
                2016/17                                   $411.729 million
                2017/18                                   $447.627 million
              Total Funding                               $4.785911 billion

The breakdown of the distribution of the funding outlined above will be determined when
states and territories submit their implementation plans to FaHCSIA in the coming
months.




By Travis Gilbert
Policy and Research Officer
Homelessness Australia
Email: policy@homelessnessaustralia.org.au

				
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Description: REMOTE SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY Walgett and Wilcannia in NSW.