Housing Minister failing Aboriginal communities, says Alison Anderson

Media release

Member for Namatjira, Ms Alison Anderson, has taken aim at the Northern Territory Minister for Housing, Matt Conlon, saying overcrowded and poorly maintained public housing in Aboriginal communities is yet more evidence that the minister is not in control of his portfolio.

“During a recent trip to several communities in my electorate I was made aware that housing maintenance issues are not being dealt with in a timely manner, and in some cases, not at all,” Ms Anderson said.

“Unhygienic living conditions are being created by unresolved maintenance issues such as broken water pipes and blocked drains. This means residents are without water for cooking, washing or for their toilet, placing added burden on other families who then have to share their water.

“It seems many requests are simply put in the ‘too hard basket’ or are being passed backwards and forwards between the contracted service providers and the Housing Department.

“Indigenous Australians have the skills in communities to provide the essential maintenance services, but these jobs have been taken away from them by a minister who is clearly out of touch.

“Ongoing health problems are caused from overcrowded housing with as many as twenty adults and children forced to share a house built for a family of six.

“These problems continue to impact too many families living in remote communities throughout the Northern Territory and both the Housing Minister and the Chief Minister need to address these matters urgently,” Ms Anderson said.