Jul 22, 2009

Feds build 1000th home in three months… in Rudd’s electorate

Stimulus package housing is one thing, intervention housing quite another, writes Chris Graham.

Chris Graham

Tracker managing editor

As Federal Minister for Housing Jenny Macklin boasts that the Rudd government has just begun construction of its 1000th home under its broader stimulus package, construction has not started on a single home under the Northern Territory Intervention's housing program. Construction has begun on the 1000th home in just three months, as part of the Rudd government's $6.4 billion national social housing stimulus package. The housing is being built in the inner Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba, in the Prime Minister's own electorate of Griffith:

The Rudd government's mainstream public housing success comes amid revelations that the pace in Macklin's other portfolio -- Indigenous Affairs -- is nowhere near as frenetic. Construction has begun on zero homes under the NT intervention's housing program, despite federal Labor supporting the declaration of a "national emergency" in remote NT communities more than two years ago. But Macklin shouldn't be surprised -- leaked government documents obtained by the National Indigenous Times reveal that she was warned in early 2008 that the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) -- which the Rudd government inherited from the previous administration -- had major flaws, and that if the $700 million program proceeded it would not deliver any black housing in the Northern Territory until 2011, at the earliest:

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