South Australia-Federal Government Relations Thaw

South Australia-Federal Government Relations Thaw

South Australia Shadow Minister for Families, Communities & Housing Vickie Chapman 

Macklin Scalds Rankine And Takes $900k

Victor P Taffa

Federal Families Minister, Jenny Macklin has chastised her State Counterpart, Jennifer Rankine, in a series of letters, released under Freedom of Information.

Ms Macklin is critical of the Rann Labor Government’s handling of indigenous housing and the $30 Pension Increase.

South Australia has been penalised nearly $1 Million by the Federal Government for failing to meet construction targets for indigenous housing under the National Partnership for Remote Indigenous Housing with 25 % of new constructions for 2009-10 not completed on time.

Correspondence obtained by the State Opposition under Freedom of Information reveals $901,000 of capital funding for remote housing was ‘redistributed’ to other states that have met or exceeded construction targets after SA failed to build new houses on time.

Despite listing a number of excuses in a letter to Federal Families Minister Jenny Macklin, State Minister Jennifer Rankine was unable to prevent the money being reclaimed by the Commonwealth and a request for an extension of time for 2010-11 works was also refused.

“Governments should not have the luxury of making excuses for not meeting targets… Indigenous citizens have every right to expect Governments to deliver what they promise.” Ms. Macklin said in one letter.

The State Government has committed to delivering 17 new houses and 50 refurbishments in 2010-11 financial year but they must still complete a further 11 houses and 2 refurbishments to meet their commitment from 2009-10.

Shadow Minister for Families and Communities, Vickie Chapman said the letters reveal a rift between State Families Minister Jennifer Rankine and her Federal counterpart Jenny Macklin.

“The Rann Labor Government’s incompetence has lost the South Australian indigenous community almost $1 Million that would have been used to address the critical housing needs.” Ms Chapman said.

“Premier Rann needs to step in and relieve Minister Rankine from her duties as Minister for Families and Communities as it is evident her relationship with the Federal Minister is deteriorating and she cannot handle the indigenous housing commitments she made.”

“Labor is fractured and consumed by infighting at all levels of Government and South Australians are suffering as a result of their Poor Management.” Ms Chapman said.