Fed­eral fund­ing sought for up­grades

Pilbara News - - Yule River meeting - Tom Zaun­mayr

The State Gov­ern­ment is ag­i­tat­ing for $25m of Fed­eral fund­ing to add to its re­gional ser­vices re­form war chest as it pushes on with plans to ear­mark 10 re­mote com­mu­ni­ties by the end of the year for an up­grade to mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had an obli­ga­tion to fund the re­forms, given it was Fed­eral fund­ing cuts that was the root cause of re­mote com­mu­nity clo­sures.

“It was the with­drawal of Fed­eral funds which trig­gered some of the ear­lier dis­cus­sions, go­ing back about three years now,” he said. “That con­cerns us be­cause there’s an on­go­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity there in my view.

“I’m hop­ing to have a level of en­gage­ment with the Fed­eral Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter (Nigel Scul­lion), par­tic­u­larly on hous­ing.”

La­bor Sen­a­tor Pa­trick Dod­son said he would raise the is­sue of Fed­eral funds in Se­nate es­ti­mates hear­ings.

“There is prob­a­bly a his­tory where a lot of duck-shov­ing has gone on and, of course, the in­dige­nous peo­ple have fallen through the gap of the po­lit­i­cal ar­gu­ments go­ing on be­tween re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” he said.

“I think that ul­ti­mately bud­gets in a State are crit­i­cal for how you re­spond to the cit­i­zens of the State and the ser­vices you de­liver. I think the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has an obli­ga­tion as well to meet some of those mat­ters.

Mr Dod­son said greater bi­par­ti­san­ship was needed to make real progress on mat­ters of in­dige­nous af­fairs.

Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man ad­dresses the Yule River meet­ing. He says the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment should fund mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices up­grades.

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