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
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Council of Territory Co-operation 19 First Report Territory Government will be spending more on infrastructure in the coming years as part of Territory growth towns development.61 Dr Ritchie (DLGH) said that there is about $100 million available from NPA funding and that the Australian Government is responsible for new infrastructure, while the Territorys responsibility is to maintain existing infrastructure. He pointed out that in practice, as the SIHIP program is delivered, each community may need a different approach to infrastructure. Some may need new systems, others may need upgraded systems. Assessments about the best value for money and funding responsibility will need to be negotiated between the Northern Territory and the Australian Governments.62 The Council notes Dr Ritchies comments that different approaches and negotiation are needed with the Australian Government to resolve infrastructure requirements. It believes the Tennant Creek SIHIP construction project provides an example of when a different approach should occur. Recommendation 5 The Council recommends that the $13.5 million set aside in Tennant Creek for infrastructure be used for the construction of new houses and the infrastructure money is sourced from the NPA. Recommendation 6 The Council recommends that a scope of infrastructure works for SIHIP be published, providing detail of who will do what when. Program management/ administration costs Leading into the SIHIP review, media attention was focussed on reported program management and administration costs and that no new housing had been built. Review findings about program administration costs agreed they were too high.63 One outcome of the review was that it determined that program management costs could be cut from 11.4 to 8 per cent of the total budget. Both governments have agreed to reduce administrative costs to 8 per cent.64 The Council thinks consideration must be given to the process of announcing programs of this nature by Governments at both levels. What should have been a good news story for both Governments has become a disaster because of the desire to massage the message rather than actually focus on the results achievable. Both Governments need to acknowledge that the experience has left a sour taste in many mouths, not least of which are the many Aboriginal people who have been promised one thing and delivered another. In practice, government officers explained that for the life of the SIHIP program, 8 per cent of the total program expenditure will be spent on managing the program. As described by Mr Davies (DCM): $11.50 will be spent on houses and $1 will be spent on program administrationit goes to project management coststo facilitating the coordination, the design parameters and that sort of thing. 65 61 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.21. 62 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.43-4. 63 FaHCSIA and NTG, SIHIP Review, pp.5, 7, 24-25. 64 FaHCSIA and NTG, SIHIP Review, p.24. 65 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.11.
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