Remarkable Findings from the Taskforce

A stunning revelation from the NTERT Survey Teams,

Maj-Gen Chalmers said housing was one of the top issues facing the survey teams….

I can’t think of a more pointless endeavor; having ‘survey teams’ re-confirm one of the most well documented of remote Indigenous community issues.

The Federal Government has increased allocations for housing in the current financial year but it remains well below the known level of need. The overall national budget is around $500mil, while the known outstanding need in the NT alone is well over $1billion.

Maj-Gen Chalmers also says,

In the longer term there will be the need for additional houses and that will be addressed

Such insight. I wonder if he’s told Mr Brough?

The Fed Govt is currently engaged in a rather strange process of trying to encourage private ownership of houses and introduce commercial rents. Both may have a partial role to play, but until the massive hole in housing infrastructure spending is addressed, this is just re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Let me give you an example.

Community K. in the northern NT, has a documented shortfall of 450 bedrooms. For this financial year it will get 4 new houses (16 bedrooms). With some inventive thinking could be stretched out to 10 new(ish) houses (40 bedrooms). This barely keeps pace with the population growth!

And the though that introducing commercial rents will help only shows how little the proponents of this idea actually know. In K., they currently charge rent at a per person rate, meaning that many houses bring in $400+ per week, which goes towards up-keep, municipal service and a few extras houses per year. If forced to charge commercial rates (let’s say equivalent to Darwin), the rental return per house would be reduced, affecting the ability to maintain existing and build new houses.

It’s crazy stuff, dreamt up in isolation from reality.

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