The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010
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 14 First Report prior to the review, houses were fully refurbished and now refurbishments are focussed on just fixing the functionality of the house The effect of this may be that more houses will be able to be refurbished in some communities.36 The Council was interested to know how refurbishments/ rebuilds will reduce the significant overcrowding in communities and how overcrowded housings functionality can be restored when up to 20 or more people are living in many houses. Responding to these concerns in relation to Maningrida, Mr Robert Ryan, Acting Executive Director SIHIP (FaHCSIA) stated: I believe you have to look at not just the refurbishments, but the 109 new houses which are going in to Maningrida; that will have a significant impact on overcrowdingWhile 109 houses is a massive commitment, it will not be sufficient to bring the numbers down, but it will make a very large difference. We will also be looking at rebuilds. There are some houses where refurbishment is inadequate. There is an option of doing some rebuilds in some cases where the structure is sound and where a rebuild provides a good investment for government in that community. Lastly, the refurbishment will do the balance. Behind that as well, will sit the property and tenancy management program. It is worth noting the funding that has gone into property and tenancy management for the remote communities has doubled over the last two years. We have significantly more money going into R&M now than was the case prior. That is in recognition of the fact, not only that we have to maintain the investment we are putting in, but the role of maintenance of houses plays in addressing maintaining houses and keeping houses to a good standard. 37 Questions were also asked about how the scope of works for refurbishments and rebuilds were determined. In Tennant Creek, Mr Brian Hughey, Project Director, New Future Alliance, described using the Territory Housing system of scoping a houses functionality. Prior to handover of completed work, Territory Housing assess the house in relation to its standards.38 As part of the Councils questioning in the case of Tennant Creek, there appeared to be a two to three week delay in the handover process.39 At each public hearing there was concern expressed about how many houses were under construction and when houses can be expected to be completed. Figures quoted by FaHCSIAs Secretary, Dr Jeff Harmer, in a Senate Estimates hearing, that about 50 houses would be commenced by the end of 2009 and about 200 would be completed by the end of 201040 were confirmed by FaHCSIA and Northern Territory Government officials during public hearings.41 The SIHIP program report shows that at the time of tabling, 15 houses and 42 refurbishments/ rebuilds were underway and 19 refurbishments/ rebuilds were 36 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Tuesday 10 November 2009, p.55. 37 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Tuesday 10 November 2009, pp.58-9. 38 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Tennant Creek, Thursday 19 November 2009, p.8. 39 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Tennant Creek, Thursday 19 November 2009, p.9. 40 Commonwealth of Australia Senate, Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Estimates (Supplementary Budget Estimates), Friday 23 October 2009, Canberra, p. CA7. Dr. Harmer states that almost 50 new houses under construction and more than 180 rebuilds and refurbishments underway or completed by December 2009. 41 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, pp. 6, 44 and Tuesday 10 November 2009, p.69.
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