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The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010



The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010

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Tabled paper 714


Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled By Gerard Wood


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Council of Territory Co-operation 13 First Report 3. SIHIP One of the Councils immediate priorities is to inquire into the policy rationale, programming and implementation of SIHIP.29 The Council asked expert witnesses to the hearings to aid understanding and scrutunising of policies.30 Witnesses at the Councils public hearings held during November and December 2009 spoke about a range of matters in relation to SIHIP.31 Some of the broader, related issues were also at times discussed. Two examples of this are tenancy management of housing constructed or refurbished through SIHIP and increasing home ownership in Indigenous communities. While the broader matters related to SIHIP are included as discussed with the Council, fuller consideration of the broader issues will be included in later reports. Issues raised Perhaps reflective of the considerable media attention given to SIHIP, the constant and dominant concern raised in all centres was the number of houses to be built under SIHIP in comparison to the known need for significantly more housing in the Territorys Indigenous communities. Other issues repeatedly discussed included the average cost and size and design of houses and the program and administration costs under SIHIP. Numbers of houses, rebuilds and refurbishments Mr Ken Davies, the then Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of the Chief Minister (DCM), confirmed that SIHIP will deliver 750 new houses, 230 rebuilds and 2500 refurbishments. This, in effect, is anticipated to add 3480, or so, houses to the Northern Territory government housing stock 32 The difference between rebuilds and refurbishments is explained in cost terms. An average, post-SIHIP review rebuild will be $200,000 while an average refurbishment will be $75,000, and in scale of work undertaken.33 The SIHIP Review noted that: Rebuilds will occur where more than $100,000 on capital works is spent on an existing house. It is expected that the majority of rebuild works will be kitchens, bathrooms and toilets, returning houses to full functionality for less than half the cost of a new house on averageRefurbishments will range in cost from $20,000 to $100,000 per houseand will target critical health hardware and housing functionality. 34 For most purposes however, refurbishments and rebuilds are not separately differentiated, e.g. the SIHIP program report shows them as one project item.35 Witnesses who were contractors from the alliances delivering the program agreed that refurbishments and rebuilds are now essentially the same thing. They said that 29 LANT, CTC, Media Release, 6 November 2009, http://www.nt.gov.au/lant/parliament/committees/CTC/MediaRelease6Nov2009.pdf, accessed 15 December 2009. 30 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.1. 31 See Appendix B for a list of hearing dates, locations and witnesses. 32 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.13. 33 Answer to question on notice: LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Tuesday 10 November 2009, p.57. In answer to the basis for determining the number of houses for refurbishment it was stated that it was based on a mixture of experience in the first three packages of work and discussions between Government and Alliances about what could be delivered in subsequent works. 34 FaHCSIA and NTG, SIHIP Review, p.33. 35 Department of Local Government and Housing (DLGH), Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, (Program Spreadsheet), CTC Tabled Paper No.2, 9 November 2009.

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