HOW DID IT GET TO THIS?
The crisis that has unfolded at the remote community of Minyerri 160 kilometres from Mataranka is an absolute disgrace.
Questions need to be answered about how a Territory Government program designed to help Indigenous Territorians has turned into a living hell for the very people it was meant to help.
It is damning that the Housing Minister Gerry McCarthy has only now factored transitional accommodation into Territory Government planning options for the National Partnerships on Remote Housing and Remote Australia Strategies programs.
It should not be up to the NT News or courageous whistleblowers to shame the government into action.
How is it possible that the minister, or anybody in the department responsible, did not find a solution for the obvious consequences of displacing Minyerri residents? What did they think was going to happen to these families with infant babies and young children? Where could they possibly go?
Minyerri is receiving a replacement of 14 dwellings and upgrades to 42 existing dwellings under the National Partnerships on Remote Housing and Remote Australia Strategies programs.
This is a well-intentioned program designed to help some of the Territory’s most isolated and vulnerable. But when you undertake this kind of work in a community where housing accommodation is scarce, there has to be a flow-on affect.
And in today’s NT News the shocking impact of a lack of planning is laid bare. For many months the people of Minyerri have been forced to live without shelter, sanitation or fresh water alongside a rancid billabong. Disease is rife with many in the camp having skin sores, ring worm, and boils. What makes this situation even more horrendous is the question must now be asked about conditions in other communities involved in the program.