Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3160 ..
The maintenance request for tender will be put to the market later this year, and this will be a very important process. No doubt the government will have a real good look at contract performance and service delivery requirements, but it should also have a good look at its own shortcomings and come forward with reforms in its own backyard, where the contract will be managed from. I must say, in no way am I critical of the 250-odd public servants that run Housing ACT functions; I am sure they are working to the maximum within the resources that they have. It is up to the government to look at its management and ask itself what is needed to get on top of the problem.
In conclusion, I wish the minister all the best for the forthcoming housing summit. I sincerely hope that this forum produces genuine and practical solutions and not simply another plan that looks good on a website. We hope that the government will undertake an effective re-tender of the total facilities management services that creates an outcome based on learning from past shortcomings. More importantly, I hope the tenants and Housing ACT staff are consulted in shaping this outcome.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (6.15): The lack of Indigenous-specific or appropriate housing is of grave concern. The government is a signatory to the national affordable housing agreement, which agreed as an outcome that Indigenous people would have the same housing opportunities as other Australians and that they would be provided with safe and culturally appropriate housing. The agreement also establishes that it is the role of the territory to take responsibility for leadership in the matter of Indigenous housing policy. Despite this agreement, the Indigenous community does not have its own or culturally appropriate public housing administered or supported by Indigenous organisations. What Indigenous public housing there once was has been absorbed into the general pool, administered by non-Indigenous organisations. These matters not only contravene the national affordable housing agreement but fail to meet the needs of the Indigenous community.
Moreover, it is appalling that more than 50 per cent of Indigenous tenants are still waiting to be relocated as part of the urban housing renewal program. In fact, not one of the 1,288 new dwellings being delivered as part of the public housing renewal program will be specific or culturally appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders—not one—even though the directorate tells us that almost 8.7 per cent of all public housing is tenanted by Indigenous occupants.
No doubt the minister considers it appropriate to ignore the plight of Indigenous Canberrans. The lack of an appropriate indigenous housing policy confirms this. We therefore call on the government to develop an appropriate Indigenous housing policy and, as part of the policy, to set a specific budget for Indigenous public housing as a percentage of public housing stock and report on the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people inhabiting those houses.
But this issue is secondary only to the lack of available aged-care housing in the territory—five houses. The territory has five culturally appropriate Indigenous aged-care houses. At the last election there was a promise of a further $4.4 million