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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 20 First Report Using total SIHIP expenditure of $45.54 million at the time of the review,66 Mr Davies explained the break-up of expenditure at the time of the review as follows: $7.6 million of that $45m has been spent on capital costs. These costs have been primarily for upgrading power infrastructure in remote communities to support new housing. $20m has been the establishment costs for the Alliance partners and costs for scoping the first nine SIHIP packages; and $17m has been appropriated for program management - $6.2m in direct costs to the NT government, $0.3m engagement costs, $11.4m to external contractor costs 67 Mr Davies agreed that if $7.6 million, spent on capital infrastructure costs, was deducted from $45.4 million spent to date, the remainder, about $38 million, was spent in administration costs. Following the review, budget program management costs will be reduced to 8 per cent, or $53.7 million of the total SIHIP budget. This then means that about $15 million remains that can be spent on administration costs for the life of the program.68 Recommendation 7 The Council recommends that all new, rebuilt or refurbished houses when handed over to Territory Housing have a publicly available final cost that includes an administrative component. Recommendation 8 The Council recommends that the Northern Territory and Australian Governments provide the CTC with a detailed financial report of the SIHIP project every quarter. Recommendation 9 The Council recommends that an audit should be done by an independent auditor at the completion of the process to determine the usefulness of the alliance model, including an assessment of the profits returned by the Alliances through the process. Land tenure/ lease arrangements For most of the Northern Territory, to enable SIHIP to be delivered, leases needed to be negotiated with traditional land owners as most of the major communities where housing was needed was held in communal freehold title by Aboriginal traditional owners. An integral part of SIHIP, therefore, is to resolve land tenure issues. Dr Ritchie (DLGH) explained the reasons for negotiating leases: One, the owner of the house would be the public, the Crown, and the Crown would have an ongoing responsibility to maintain those houses for the future. The second thing is, to establish any capability for the residents of remote communities to actually ever aspire to purchasing property, there would need to be a form of negotiable title, and that is readily achieved by creating the leasehold system we are now rolling out. 69 Ms Cattermole (FaHCSIA) described the underlying principle to the Australian Governments expenditure in SIHIP as being sufficient security of tenure to ensure initial housing construction work to be undertaken, but also to ensure that housing 66 FaHCSIA and NTG, SIHIP Review, p.25. 67 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.14. 68 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.14. 69 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Monday 9 November 2009, p.32.

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