The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed Federal Labor’s commitment to address overcrowding in remote communities.
The $1.5 billion, ten-year investment will go a long way towards closing the gap in remote housing disadvantage across Queensland.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Jackie Trad said quality of living simply can’t be achieved if people don’t have a roof over their heads.
“The Queensland Government remains committed to providing quality housing across our State’s remote communities under our 1.08 billion commitment over 10 years,” Ms Trad said.
“Federal Labor’s commitment will only strengthen the work we are already doing to assist those living in communities such as across Leichardt
“For 50 years, Australian governments have joined with us to provide homes in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” she said.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said that all ended last year under the Federal LNP.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have said it was profoundly disappointing to see the Morrison Coalition turn its back from a shared responsibility to Queensland’s remote communities.
“Queensland Labor has joined calls to the Federal Government to continue to fund remote indigenous housing and I wrote and met repeatedly with the outgoing Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion over the past 12 months. All he showed Queensland’s First Nations people was contempt.
“It’s pretty clear that Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems comfortable being the first PM in half a century to turn his back on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
“And what’s just as bad is that Deb Frecklington’s Queensland LNP has continually refused to reach out to their colleagues in Canberra and ask them not to turn their backs on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
“Further, the Queensland LNP has stood by and done absolutely nothing while their Morrison Coalition in Canberra stripped $1.6 billion from housing funding for Queenslanders – a plan designed to wipe out remote communities.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said only a Shorten Labor Government has a plan for all Queenslanders.
“The Palaszczuk Government will provide pathways to secure better futures, to help close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders.
“Had Queensland been given our fair share from the Morrison LNP Government, we could have built 189 3-bedroom homes in remote communities in just one year,” Ms Lui said.
Mayor of Palm Island Shire Council Alf Lacey said an investment of $112 million in the 2019-20 Budget from the Commonwealth coupled with the existing spend is all that would have been needed to address overcrowding – and save the 600 jobs in remote communities.
“It will change and save lives – this funding will help to address overcrowding, protect jobs and allow further economic investment in the region, while a longer-term agreement is negotiated,” Mr Lacey said.