Territory Stories

Alice Springs news

Details:

Title

Alice Springs news

Collection

Alice Springs news; NewspaperNT

Date

2008-07-24

Description

This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.

Notes

This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.

Language

English

Subject

Community newspspers; Australia, Central; Alice Springs (N.T.); Newspapers

Publisher name

Erwin Chlanda

Place of publication

Alice Springs

Volume

v. 15 issue 25

File type

application/pdf

Use

Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Erwin Chlanda

License

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C1968A00063

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/232757

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/661377

Page content

Housing fiasco's front line B y E R W I N C H L A N D A O n the s o u t h e r n side o f the r o a d t h r o u g h the pic t u r e s q u e L a r a p i n t a V a l ley , o n N a m a t j i r a D r i v e , some 30 k i l o m e t r e s west o f A l i c e S p r i n g s , stands the house o f K u m a n t j a i A r m s t r o n g . A c r o s s the road are several houses w h i c h are most ly empty or occupied intermittently by people in influential positions in A b o riginal organizations^ So says A l b y Mackay w h o l i ves in a " d o n g a " alongside M r A r m s t r o n g ' s house, and is authorized by M r A r m s t r o n g to speak on his behalf. Comments B o b Jeffr ies, manager o f outstation serv ices run b y the Ngurrat juta Pmara Nt jarra A b o r i g i n a l Associa t ion: " A l l housing stock is o w n e d by the A b o r iginal land trust and issues o f vacancies or abandoned or under used housing is someth ing, that should be addressed by them." M r A r m s t r o n g ' s fami ly is caught up in inertia and buck passing between C a n berra and D a r w i n . Both M r A r m s t r o n g ' s house and those across the road were built w i t h C o m monwealth money allocated to alleviate the shortage o f accommodat ion f o r A b o r iginal people. T h e m o n e y goes to T e r r i tory Hous ing w h i c h m a n ages the funds and engages A b o r i g i n a l associations and contractors to do the w o r k on the g round . I t 's a system that isn't w o r k i n g for M r A r m s t r o n g , 68 years o l d , wheelcha i r b o u n d after a stroke, an inval id pensioner. " W e l ive l ike rabbits inside," he says. H e and his w i fe Clare sleep in the l i v i n g - r o o m of what w o u l d n o r m a l l y be a small home for a family o f four . T h e famil ies o f three of M r A r m s t r o n g ' s sons each occupy one of the three t iny bedrooms. H e wants them near h i m : " I f they l ive on some one else's land, big prob lems come up. T h e y get' m i x e d up wi th other peo ple," he says. E r n e s t , J u l i e n n e and their t w o chi ldren l ive in one. Frank , Josie and baby Randal l are in the next . T a m a r a and J e r e m y are in the third. T h e y don't have kids. P r i s c i l l a , E l i c i a and W a y n e sleep on the open veranda , notwi thstanding tha"t morn ing temperatures at present are around freez ing point. T h a t ' s 1.3 people, in cluding t w o babies and a disabled man. T h e n u m b e r ' g o e s up to 30 w h e n "re l l ies" f r o m Hermannsburg drop in for a day or t w o . T h e r e ' s little furni ture, most ly beds and mattresses o n the floor. T h e Central L a n d C o u n ci l manages the Iwupataka A b o r i g i n a l L a n d T r u s t , some 300 square k i lome tres situated between A l i c e Springs and the internation al ly acclaimed W e s t M a c Donnel l Ranges, a mainstay o f the tour ism industry and among the 13 parks n o w to be handed over to A b o r i g i nal ownersh ip . U n l i k e the houses on the nor thern side o f the r o a d , w h i c h are m o s t l y new and in t ip-top shape, M r A r m s t r o n g ' s place is 12 years o ld . H e and his father were the first ones to settle on this land: it is his father's " r i g h t f u l l and" , says M r A r m s t r o n g . H i s was the first house to be erected on the " G o l d e n M i l e " - so named for the wide ly alleged rorting o f the wel fare housing system by people w h o also have d w e l l ings in A l i c e Springs. M r A r m s t r o n g says he has applied for other hous ing o n the land: " T h e y must have th rown the pa per a w a y . " T h e house he has is n o w in line for renovat ions, M r M a c k a y says he's been told b y Ngurrat juta. T h e roo f leaks. T h e solar hot water sys tem leaks onto the roo f f rom ^ ^ K ^ ^ i f t J e f r i t D i y Emergency Response; +rsi Review Board , c The Northern Territory Emergency Response Review Board has been established to conduct an independent and transparent review of the NTER. The Review Board is now cal l ing for public submissions. Questions the Review Board are seeking to answer include: 1 . What is working? 2 . What isn't working? 3. Have there been any unintended consequences? 4. How is each NTER measure performing and how should each be taken forward? 5 . What progress has there been in improving the safety and we l l -be ing of Indigenous children? 6. Will the suite of measures deliver the intended results? 7. Will NTER lay the basis for a sustainable and better future for residents of remote communities and town camps in the NT? 8. What alternative measures should be considered? 9. Are there other ways of working that would better address the circumstances facing remote communities and town camps? Advice on how to structure submissions, Terms of Reference for the Northern Territory Emergency Response Review Board and list of NTER Measures can be obtained by calling: Review Secretariat on 1800 733 923 or by email to NTER.Review@fahcsia.gov.au Submissions must be in writ ing and wil l open on Friday 4 July 2008 and close on Friday 15 August. You can lodge your views by: MAIL: NTER Review Board Secretariat, GPO Box 7576, Canberra Mai l Centre, ACT 2610 EMAIL: NTER.Review@fahcsia.gov.au For more information email: NTER.Review@fahcsia.gov.au where the water f lows into the rainwater tank. T h e so lar e l e c t r i c i t y system has long ago g i v e n up the ghost: it could w e l l be used to feed p o w e r into the gr id - not needing bat teries - at a t ime w h e n this is s t r o n g l y , e n c o u r a g e d elsewhere. Says M r Jeffr ies: " R e source centres try to make use in other places o f unused or obsolete assets. " T e r r i t o r y L o c a l G o v ernment have advised us that those assets are not be used, and i f they are re m o v e d w e w o u l d be charged w i t h theft." T h e evaporat ive coo l ing system, the on ly rel ief in T h e Centre 's 40 degrees plus summers, is broken. T h e b lock o f land is strewn w i t h littler. T h a t ' s someth ing the occupants could easily fix, but the bins, supposedly emptied regu lar ly b y I n gker reke , another outsta t ion service organizat ion, are fu l l . H o w e v e r , I n g k e r r e k e manager Scott M c C o n n e l l says the I w u p a t a k a bins are emptied e v e r y week , on M o n d a y s or T u e s d a y s . M r M a c k a y says the A r m s t r o n g s are i l l i terate in Eng l i sh (their first lan guage is Western A r r e r n t e ) , but the "o ld m a n " has the tjuringas - sacred objects - conf i rming his ownersh ip o f the area. But under the one size fits all land rights legisla t ion, the A r m s t r o n g land is just part o f a land trust run b y a land counci l whose processes, according to M r M a c k a y , are incomprehen sible to the A r m s t r o n g s . M r Jef fr ies says N g u r ra t ju ta , v i a its r e s o u r c e centre, is responsible fo r the m a i n t e n a n c e o f M r A r m s t r o n g ' s house w h i c h is one o f four houses on this block. " W e inherited this si tu ation a couple o f years ago w h e n the housing on this b lock was transferred to our organisation at the request o f the residents," says M r Jeffr ies. " W e carried out inspec tions and have earmarked this house for a complete refurbishment ." M r Jef fr ies says a fur ther i n s p e c t i o n r e v e a l e d f u r t h e r d e t e r i o r a t i o n o f the p r o p e r t y t h r o u g h an increase in the number o f people l iv ing in it. " I advised all parties that w e had already ear marked this house for a c o m plete internal refurbishment and were await ing funding for 2008/09. " T e r r i t o r y Hous ing ad vised us to acquit all funding for the n e w financial year , and w e are wai t ing on an offer o f funding. H O L D - U P " T h i s is all that is ho ld ing up the refurbishment. " I was contacted b y M r M a c k a y as last week and he advised me that o v e r c r o w d ing in that house is getting w o r s e and could w e try and get some dernountables to rel ieve the situation. " W e h a v e a request before the Indigenous C o o r d i n a t i o n C e n t r e ( I C C ) regarding this matter. " H o w e v e r , I don' t e x pect a quick response. " W e have made numer ous requests to I C C for an allocation for unused de rnountables o n l y to be re ferred to Canberra and there ends the process o f decision making about the future use o f these housing assets." M r Jeffr ies says N g u r ratjuta manages 42 houses "and could use 10 o f these A B O V E : 11 o f the 13 people l i v i n g in the d i l ap ida ted house . I n the f o r e g r o u n d is K u m a n t j a i A r m s t r o n g i n his w h e e l c h a i r a n d ( a t lef t ) his w i f e C l a r e . B E L O W : N o n e o f the e q u i p m e n t o n the r o o f func t ions p r o p e r l y . B O T T O M L E F T : P u b l i c hous ing across the r o a d , r e p o r t e d l y v a c a n t o r used s p o r a d i c a l l y . dernountables to offer our communit ies a var ie ty o f accommodat ion and re l ieve situations l ike this. " H o w e v e r , the response f r o m both Federal and T e r r i tory governments is s low to non-existent. " T h e s e c o m m u n i t i e s are classed as outstations and Federal and N T g o v ernment po l icy is 'no n e w housing or development on outstat ions' ." S a y s M r O ' C o n n e l l : "It is v e r y unfortunate that outstations have missed out on all aspects o f the hous ing upgrades o f the Federal www.fahcsio.gov.au ( g f ^ g ^ f p l In tervent ion so far ." M r Jef fr ies says: " W e have attended to all m a i n tenance requests f r o m the resident. " W e have dug a dump at the communi ty for excess rubbish disposal. " F u r n i t u r e etc is the responsibi l i ty o f the resi dents. " W e have not been ad v ised o f any leaks to the roof , nor problems w i t h the hot water sys tem. " I f the resident advises us, w e w i l l f ix it. " T h e solar e lectr ic i ty w a s instal led to p r o v i d e power . " T h i s is not required as the communi ty is connected to mains power and water. " A l l h o u s e s o n the c o m m u n i t y have been ear marked to have reverse c y cle refr igerated air cond i t ioning units installed. " W e ' r e await ing fund ing f r o m T e r r i t o r y H o u s ing. " M r M a c k a y comments to me today were that he supports Ngurrat juta ," M r Jeffr ies said on M o n d a y . mailto:NTER.Review@fahcsia.gov.au mailto:NTER.Review@fahcsia.gov.au mailto:NTER.Review@fahcsia.gov.au http://www.fahcsio.gov.au


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