The McGowan Government has reaffirmed its commitment to closing the gap for Aboriginal Western Australians, naming an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) as the successful proponent to deliver housing services across the remote Ngaanyatjarra (NG) Lands.
The northern Goldfields based Ngaanyatjarra Services Aboriginal Corporation (NSAC) will manage housing maintenance on the NG Lands under a pilot head contract arrangement with the Department of Communities.
The contract will have an estimated value of up $32 million, which would make it the third largest contract signed with an Aboriginal organisation since the McGowan Government introduced its Aboriginal Procurement Policy in 2018.
Under the agreement, NSAC will manage housing maintenance in the NG Lands until 2025.
The Department of Communities has been working in partnership with the NSAC for over four years to co-design a new service delivery model to meet specific needs in the NG Lands.
It’s anticipated the new contract will provide greater training and employment opportunities for people living in NG Lands.
The McGowan Government has committed to building a strong ACCO sector under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and ensuring measures are in place to encourage strong economic participation and development for people and their communities.
Housing maintenance on the NG Lands has been provided by Lake Maintenance WA since 2015 under a contract with Communities. Lake Maintenance will continue to undertake maintenance in the Goldfields, Wheatbelt, and East and West Kimberley regions.
Head contractor arrangements are in place across metropolitan and regional WA, providing maintenance on State-owned public and regional Government officers’ housing.
As stated by Housing Minister John Carey:
“This is one of the biggest contracts signed with an Aboriginal organisation since the introduction of the McGowan Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy in 2018.
“The Department has been working closely with the Ngaanyatjarra Services Aboriginal Corporation to develop a new service-delivery model, and I am confident this contract will provide significant long-term benefits for the community, including increased potential for training and employment of people living in NG Lands communities.
“I am confident Ngaanyatjarra Services Aboriginal Corporation will provide efficient, cost effective and high-quality maintenance services for public housing stock in remote communities, particularly given their local presence and close ties to the communities.
“The McGowan Government is committed to supporting Aboriginal people with the means and opportunity to make decisions that will benefit them and their communities.
“I want to thank Lake Maintenance for the job they have done and continue to do providing critical services to public housing tenants and to welcome NSAC and wish them all the best with this major contract.”
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The McGowan Government is absolutely committed to supporting Aboriginal employment and business aspirations and will continue to find innovative ways to boost participation and success in employment and business.
“Contracts like this one reflect the McGowan Government’s ongoing commitment to Closing the Gap, in particular to priority reforms that will build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector.
“The equitable inclusion of Aboriginal people in all aspects of business is also crucially important for the state of Western Australia and the country, particularly in the wake of the post-COVID19 economic and social recovery of Western Australia.”
As stated by Ngaanyatjarra Council Group Deputy Chairman Mr Preston Thomas Snr (Mr. T):
“The newly awarded head maintenance contract is a milestone on the long road to sustainable public housing in remote Aboriginal communities.
“I want to thank the Minister, Director General and Department of Communities staff for working collaboratively with our team at Ngaanyatjarra Council Group to develop a remote-based service delivery model.
“The journey to this point has been long, but we believe the future is bright.”