I was out on the Tiwi Islands last week and there was a sight to behold – no, not the first brick being laid on the first new house under the SIHIP Program – but the first renovations. The owners are out and the workers are in, gutting, replacing, etc.
Hopefully the first new homes aren’t too far behind, as the laborious process of putting together the consortiums that are doing the building was completed late last year and the housing surveys of what will be demolished and what renovated appears to have been finalised in a few places (eg Nguiu, Bathurst Is).
Though problems remain. There is no schedule for new housing as yet at Milikapiti (Melville Is) as the Commonwealth has been unable to secure an agreement on the 99 year leases that it has been demanding. Unfortunately the new Federal Govt has continued with the misguided approach of the previous one. Several senior landholders in Milikapiti perceive (quite correctly) the no-lease, no-new-housing ultimatum as pure coercion.