Wujal Wujal’s champion MP blasts federal housing cuts
THE Aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal, 30 km north of Cape Tribulation, will soon be faced with a housing crisis following the decision by the Turnbull Government to withdraw funding for Indigenous housing, according to state Ministerial Champion for Wujal Wujal, MP Leeanne Enoch.
Ms Enoch said the Federal Government’s decision will have devastating long-term impacts on the Far North Queensland community.
“If Malcolm Turnbull was serious about Closing the Gap, he would never have contemplated withdrawing funding from Indigenous housing,” Ms Enoch said.
“We need a united effort to support Queensland’s remote Indigenous communities, and I call on Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington to stand up to her mates in Canberra and condemn this withdrawal of Commonwealth support.
“Deb Frecklington was quick to go on the record saying that she wanted to make a difference for Indigenous Australians and specifically highlighted the issue of overcrowded housing.
“She needs to put the interest of Queenslanders first, show some leadership and support the Palaszczuk Government and local Indigenous council mayors to stop this.”
Ms Enoch said having access to safe and secure housing is a fundamental human right and the cuts to funding will lead to increased rates of overcrowding in many of Queensland’s remote indigenous communities.
“The outlook would be grim – poorer health outcomes, and employment outcomes,” she said.
“More than 70 per cent of new construction is now delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils, which means local jobs and skills development that will lead to positive and sustained employment outcomes.”
Wujal Wujal Mayor Desmond Tayley said the Prime Minister should not walk away from a partnership that has done so much to close the gap of disadvantage the community suffers in relation to housing.
“This program has enjoyed much success, but there remains a shortfall of thousands of houses.
“There are still instances where up to 30 people are living in two and three bedroom homes,” Mr Tayley said.
“I urgently seek a commitment from the Turnbull Government for an ongoing program to reduce overcrowding in discrete and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities like Wujal Wujal.
“Too much has been gained since the program began under the Rudd Government 10 years ago.
“This partnership has delivered for my community and I want to see it continue.”
One of the nine houses built on the southern side of Wujal Wujal in 2007