State ac­cepts ‘fi­nal’ hous­ing deal

Broome Advertiser - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The State Govern­ment has ac­cepted a $121 mil­lion re­mote hous­ing fund­ing pay­out from the Fed­eral Govern­ment to pre­vent works on crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties grind­ing to a halt.

The State and Fed­eral Govern­ments have been locked in a bit­ter dis­pute over the Com­mon­wealth’s fi­nal pay­out of­fer of $60 mil­lion for the past year, with the State claim­ing the deal was in­ad­e­quate.

On Fri­day, Hous­ing Min­is­ter Pe­ter Tin­ley agreed to a one-off, up­front pay­ment, a move which prompted the WA Na­tion­als to call for his res­ig­na­tion.

Mr Tin­ley said the State risked de­lays to pro­vi­sion of works un­der the Re­gional Ser­vice Re­forms if the dis­pute dragged on any longer.

“One of the rea­sons I was keen to ac­cept this deal, the least worst out­come, is be­cause I didn’t want to have to in­ter­rupt the pro­gram of works we have go­ing,” he said.

“If we let it go on for much longer there would have been some im­pact on those com­mu­ni­ties.

“I am proud to say we had a fight, we im­proved the of­fer and we got the best we can get.” Mr Tin­ley said he was hope­ful of rene­go­ti­at­ing a long-term deal with a fu­ture govern­ment.

There is com­mit­ment yet from the Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion to pro­vide a bet­ter deal, but he said those dis­cus­sions would be held.

WA Na­tion­als Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs spokesman Terry Red­man said the agree­ment was more than $300 mil­lion short of what the State Govern­ment had pre­vi­ously claimed it needed.

“The min­is­ter, as I un­der­stand it, said he doesn’t like the politi­ci­sa­tion of the is­sue. Well, they are the ones who politi­cised it when they ran a $250,000 don’t walk away cam­paign on the east coast,” he said.

Mr Red­man said Mr Tin­ley was gam­bling with re­mote com­mu­nity res­i­dents’ well­be­ing by pin­ning his hopes on bet­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions with a fu­ture govern­ment.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Roe­bourne com­mu­nity sends a clear mes­sage about re­mote com­mu­nity clo­sures.

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