Jobs, housing focus on remote Arnhem islands

Several construction projects are underway at communities on Groote Eylandt and its neighbouring Bickerton Island.

At Angurugu, ten new homes have been completed and a further three are expected to be handed over next week. Seven replacement houses and two additional houses are currently in the planning stages. There have been 43 houses upgraded so far and another three homes are currently being renovated.

Contractor GEBIE Civil and Construction has a team of eight working on new builds and renovations. This includes four Angurugu locals who are involved in all aspects of the works including community consultations, site set up, fencing, painting, cleaning, helping with carpentry and block work and assisting tradies and plant operators.

At Umbakumba, on the islands north east coast, three replacement houses have been built and two new builds are nearing completion. Upgrade works have been completed on 16 homes and an additional 11 houses will be refurbished.

Over the next 12 months, Room to Breathe works will commence on 22 homes at Umbakumba through the Territory Labor Governments record $1.1 billion investment in remote housing program, Our Community. Our Future. Our Homes.

At Bickerton Islands Milyakburra, Aminjarrinja Enterprises has recently been awarded a tender to build additional living spaces to 12 houses, also part of the Room to Breathe program which aims to ease overcrowding. The tender was select to Aboriginal Business Enterprises.

Meanwhile, 65 homes in three communities will benefit from fencing works.

Contractor, Aminjarinja Enterprises Aboriginal Corporation, has already completed construction of fences at Groote Eylandts Umbakumba and works are in progress at nearby Angurugu and Milyakburra.

Similar contracts have already been completed in Lake Evella, Tara, Lajamanu and Yuendumu.

Comments attributable to Minister for Housing and Community Development Gerry McCarthy:

Jobs and housing are key priorities for the Territory Labor Government and these remote areas projects are focused on housing, jobs and training.

The works on Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island reflect our plan to change the housing and social landscape in remote communities.

We know that better homes mean better outcomes for health, education and employment and we are delivering on this right across the Territory.

Comments attributable to Member for Arnhem Selena Uibo:

When the Chief Minister and I visited Bickerton Island in May, fencing was raised by community members as one of the housing issues they wanted addressed.

As local member, I am very proud to be part of a government delivering on these projects, which not only create jobs for locals but provide safety and security for community members.

Comments attributable to GEBIE Civil and Construction General Manager Glen Smith:

The Northern Territory Government investment in remote communities is starting to make a difference.

There are now quality houses which are maintained by locals who have real and sustainable jobs.

The investment in local contractors, like GEBIE Civil and Construction, equates to long term benefits for communities.

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