Page 4629 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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Pursuant to section 127—Non-Government Schools Education Council—Recommendations—2006-2007 ACT budget.

Pursuant to section 73—Government Schools Education Council—Recommendations—2006-2007 ACT Budget.

Indigenous housing

Paper and statement by minister

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Indigenous people—Provision of housing—Agreement between the Australian Government and the ACT Government—October 2005-June 2008, dated 19 and 28 October 2005.

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank members. In accordance with section 11A of the Housing Assistance Act 1987, I am pleased to table the agreement between the ACT and Australian governments for the provision of housing for indigenous people. This agreement formalises the framework for continuing the partnership between the ACT government and the Australian government in the planning, delivery and management of housing for indigenous people living in the ACT.

The 2001 census counted 3,548 indigenous people normally resident in the ACT. This was 1.1 per cent of the ACT population and 0.9 per cent of the total indigenous population of Australia. While indigenous people living in the ACT are generally better off than those living in other jurisdictions, they rate below average compared with the ACT population overall across a range of housing indicators.

Amongst all indigenous households in the territory, 41 per cent either owned or were purchasing their own homes. By contrast, 66 per cent of all households in the ACT were in this category. In terms of overcrowding, the 2001 census revealed that 17 per cent of all indigenous households in the ACT have fewer bedrooms than they need. While this is much lower than the national indigenous figure of 29 per cent, it is almost three times higher than the figure for all ACT households.

Indigenous people are also more likely to be homeless in the ACT population overall. However, they are also more likely to be living in public housing. Public housing provides a home for 24 per cent of indigenous households in the ACT. While this is much greater than the overall figure of 9 per cent, it is a direct reflection of the ACT government’s focus on providing housing for those most in need.

In terms of specific housing initiatives for indigenous people: the ACT government has provided $350,000 this year and for the previous three years for the development of the indigenous housing sector to provide better access and wider choice for indigenous

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