In Welfare Services

Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy Adam Giles

Aborigines Still Living Under Sheets Of Tin

Victor P Taffa

More than six months after Federal and Territory politicians highlighted third world living conditions at Hoppy’s, Scrutton and Hidden Valley camps in Alice Springs, residents are still living under tarpaulins and sheets of tin.

Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy, Adam Giles, said overcrowding and homelessness is escalating across the Northern Territory yet Labor has failed to find a solution.

“Homelessness and overcrowding leads to alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour and in the Territory we all suffer as a consequence of that dysfunction.” Mr. Giles said.

“How can we expect families to be effective when there are no amenities or food preparation facilities, toilets, showers or kitchens?”

“We have long known that the conditions in which these people live are a national disgrace. What sort of society are we living in if we can’t even provide proper shelter for our most disadvantaged citizens?”

“Housing supply is the immediate priority, yet Government failure to release land in a timely fashion has prevented a mix of private, community and public housing solutions from filling the gap.” Mr. Giles said.

“Meanwhile existing public housing stock continues to deteriorate and there is a very limited budget available for repairs and upgrades.”

“While construction has finally begun under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, millions of dollars have been wasted on consultants and mismanagement.”

“Meanwhile, families are still homeless and living in substandard conditions.” Mr. Giles said.

“SIHIP had its genesis in the 2007 NT Intervention in response to an accommodation crisis in Northern Territory communities and town camps.”

“Yet so far, only six communities have received any new housing, and no new houses have yet been built in Tennant Creek.”

“It has taken three years for the Labor Government to build 8 houses in Alice Springs.” Mr. Giles said.

“Labor’s other approach is to spend $11 Million erecting a high fence on a block out of town, buying tents and swags and herding homeless Indigenous people to a so-called ‘accommodation park’.”

“That isn’t a housing solution.”

“The Territory is known for its rich source of Indigenous culture, yet successive Labor governments have failed to provide Indigenous people with even the most basic requirement of shelter.” Mr. Giles said.

Editor Victor P Taffa strongly supports Statehood for The Northern Territory. Statehood will require the creation of a State with a Constitution that under Territory-Federal control does provide for or allow. Statehood is something that most Australians take for granted and do not realise that the strength of the Commonwealth of Australia is bound by 6 Independently and Constitutionally devised States.

While Statehood will not immediately solve all of the problems of Indigenous Australians it will allow for Darwin to invest in Industries and subsequently provide employment.

Western Australia in contrast has control over its affairs and in what is the world’s largest State is able to provide for Indigenous Australians in a way that Canberra is failing time and again to do.

No amount of Federal Interventions will solve the problems of The Northern Territory and while Euthanasia is something that has been stopped by Federal Intervention this is no excuse to leave The Northern Territory as a Territory and without a Constitution. Editor Victor P Taffa opposes Euthanasia.

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