The Palaszczuk Government wants to hear from Mount Isa residents tomorrow (Monday) about what needs to be done to improve housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said a four-hour Yarning Circle (consultation forum) will be held at Jimaylya Topsy Harry Centre, 102 Duchess Rd from 10am.
Mr de Brenni said the forum – to be facilitated by First Nations Housing Advisor Mick Gooda – would give residents and key stakeholders the opportunity to help shape the government’s new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan.
“Yarning Circles are a good way to get feedback from the community as they provide a forum in which everybody can get their voice heard in a safe and respectful environment,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The Mount Isa Yarning Circle will play an important part in the targeted consultation process we’re conducting around Queensland to find out what we need to do to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing.
“The open conversations we’ll be having will help shape our Plan, which is one of the key actions identified in our Queensland Housing Strategy 2017 – 2027.
“The plan recognises the unique and diverse housing challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, which includes overcrowding and homelessness, and will come up with practical solutions.”
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government knew that to “ensure the best outcomes for remote communities we need to work with them, not simply do things to them”.
“This is especially important as we are approaching a crisis in remote housing brought on by the Federal LNP’s disgraceful decision to axe funding for building new housing in Queensland’s remote indigenous communities,” he said.
“Providing suitable housing makes all the difference in improving life chances. You can’t start closing the gap on employment, health and education without a roof over your head – it’s as simple as that.
“The Palaszczuk Government is determined to address these challenges and that’s why we recently announced an additional $40 million, bringing our direct investment to $185 million this year to support a housing construction program in 2019 to help mitigate the worst impacts of the Commonwealth’s decision to cut funding.
“We continue to stand ready to accept any assistance in Closing the Gap from the Commonwealth should the Prime Minister overturn Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to turn his back on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan will be launched next year. Among those consulted will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Traditional Owners, private and social housing tenants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mayors and Councils, Indigenous organisations, service providers and Government agencies.
To find out more go to www.qld.gov.au/betterhousingfutures