Nov 12, 2010

Workers say they’re being ripped off under indigenous housing program

Aboriginal people say they are working for the BasicsCard on the federal Government's $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) in Northern Territory communities, writes Paddy Gibson, senior researcher, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS.

Aboriginal people say they are working for the BasicsCard on the federal Government’s $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) in Northern Territory communities.

The scheme has been a serious cash cow for bureaucrats and contractors. The first two years of the program failed to deliver a single house.

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7 thoughts on “Workers say they’re being ripped off under indigenous housing program

  1. Nadia David

    There needs to be a full-scale independent inquiry into SIHIP. It was an unlawful, corrupt, wasteful rort from start to finish – CDEP was an incredibly positive program for lots of Aboriginal communities and it’s been destroyed. The Government needs to explain why it thinks black people should work for the dole alongside white people earning good money, and further explain how adopting that strategy has helped ‘close the gap’. Disgusting. I hope someone’s going to commence legal proceedings…..seems to be the only way to get things done anymore.

  2. Liz45

    Hi Paddy, I went to the Jobs with Justice Rally in Sydney on October 29, and heard some pretty awful accounts of what is going on up there, and I understand to CDEP in my local area that has indigenous workers too. It’s great to have the Unions on side, and glad that the ACTU is getting involved. I believe that the campaign is really gathering momentum now, and as people said at a local Rally on this issue, we must back up our outrage with Union action. The MUA, CFMEU, the Fireies etc are all on board as is the South Coast Labour Council, Wollongong!

    As a non-indigenous woman, I share the views of the spokesperson for the MUA who said he felt ashamed and disgusted by what he was hearing – me too! It’s just appalling! United we’ll overcome this disgraceful situation and ensure decent jobs with appropriate wages – not slave labour like this. I heard, that one man was forced to work on a construction site, even though he had a broken arm – that is almost unbelievable – there would be an outcry if it happened in almost any other place in the country – amazing what they can get away with it in isolated areas!
    I’ll certainly be involved in any planned activities in my area to show my support!

    @NADIA – Agreed!

  3. Harvey Tarvydas

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    Unfortunately we have a vivid display of symptoms of a psychological disease or phenomenon that I call ‘only crap exhibits the trickle down effect and then society gets sick’.
    The racism that your article really describes actually starts with esteemed leaders like the previous PM the Rt Honourable John Howard.
    A most important, well disguised r—st (what else can one be if when responding publically as the Australian Prime Minister to the news of Obama’s ascendency to the Presidential opportunity refers to him, out loud, “the Al Quaeda candidate”. That sort of ugliness eventually explains the bureaucratic racism filtering down unrecognised to the indigenous worker as you describe here.
    @NADIA DAVID – the explanation, but maybe to sophisticated and complex or abstract for you.

  4. Harvey Tarvydas

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    Good on you LIZ45.
    The world needs activists, old ones like me are being murdered/eliminated by the pricks who think they own the power.

  5. Dr Strangelove

    What an absolute F#*k up.

  6. [email protected]

    I got my brother off a CDEP program because the dole paid more, this was about 6 years ago.

  7. kennethrobinson2

    I live in the Top End, and the stories and rumors about the rip offs is frightening, apparently there is quite an industry of advisers, consultants etc, who accomplish absolutely nothing, but get mega bucks.
    To get the real picture you have to look at the politicians we have, both parties, we must be the political garbage dump of the country.
    Meanwhile the average Aborigine gets nothing, the sad part is the children wandering, around like Zombies with no purpose in life, a lot of them arent at school, now the law is children must attend school, I really cannot attempt to list the neglect and abuse of Aboriginal children, the child welfare system seems to be on another planet.
    Who the hell am I to vote for?, luckily, Pine Creek where I live, seems to have got it right, quite a high proportion are attending school and liking it, but apparently we are off the political map.

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