Josie FarrerMember for Kimberley

Working Hard For The Kimberley Getting Things Done

Liberal-National Government delays Kimberley housing program

Monday 17 Mar 2014

The Liberal-National Government has delayed the West Kimberley Transitional Housing Project by two years, robbing Aboriginal people in Broome and Derby of the chance to own their own homes.

In August 2013, the Liberal-National Government announced that the Department of Housing will receive $33.89million over two years to fund the Project, with construction to begin in 2014.

Member for the Kimberley Josie Farrer said the Liberal-National Government's Mid-Year Review revealed it had delayed funding the Project by two years, meaning it will not commence until at least 2015-16. 

The program was meant to support Aboriginal families in the West Kimberley to buy their own home. It would have provided for the construction of 40 new houses in Broome and 20 in Derby between 2013 and 2015.

These homes would facilitate the transition of Aboriginal tenants who wish to move from public housing to home ownership, by giving them an opportunity to purchase the home they are renting.

When announcing the policy, the former Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls said:

'Transitional housing helps to remove a key barrier to employment and provides the stability required for participants to engage in employment, education and training.  Families have the opportunity to purchase the house they are renting, which provides a strong incentive to stay employed and meet other requirements, such as ensuring their kids attend school'.

Housing Minister Bill Marmion also pointed out that a similar project in the East Kimberley had 'delivered great results, with children of families participating in the program having a 95 per cent school attendance record'.

"This is a blow to Aboriginal people in Broome and Derby," Ms Farrer said.

"When this policy was announced, the Liberal-National Government focused on its capacity to assist Aboriginal families to set 'lifestyle goals and financial management'.

"Participants were also required to ensure their children attend school and take part associated support programs.

"It was welcomed by the Shire of Broome and Shire of Derby.

"It's important that Aboriginal people who have entered the workforce can own their own homes, and this program gives them that opportunity.

"The Liberal-National Government's decision to delay the project by two years will only add to the housing issues currently facing Broome and Derby. Once again, the Liberal-National Government's failure to manage the State's finances has seen it break another election promise in regional WA."