• “I’d like to say to Black Australia – think about whose country this is, whose land it is and take a lesson from us. Resistance might get you a whole further than acquiescence will.” (newzulu.com)Source: newzulu.com
The ball is now in the court of the Aboriginal Housing Company CEO Mick Mundine to sign off on a deal to finance low-income Housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the Block.
By
Danny Teece-Johnson

Source:
NITV News
27 Aug 2015 - 7:15 PM  UPDATED 27 Aug 2015 - 7:19 PM

The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy is claiming victory after Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion stepped in to guarantee finance for low-income housing at the iconic landmark in the Sydney suburb of Redfern.

For 15 months, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy has protested the Aboriginal Housing Company's plans for a major commercial and residential development - a scheme that provided only minimal low cost housing, amounting to a rejection of the reason former Labor Leader Gough Whitlam first gave the land back to the community back in 1972.

NITV News Live from The Block:

But late on Wednesday night, the Embassy announced a deal that will see $5 million in Federal funding put towards developing affordable housing.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, told NITV News that people can now be confident that the Block will get housing for Aboriginal people.

"Congratulations to the Tent Embassy and to Jenny Munro on what I see as significant leadership in these matters.

"Congratulations to the Tent Embassy and to Jenny Munro on what I see as significant leadership in these matters.

"They're quite complex matters and it’s taken quite a long time to roll out.

"But everybody wants on Aboriginal land, affordable housing for Aboriginal people, that’s what they decided to do with the block, and I think that they have a much higher level of confidence that that’s going to happen."

Supporters travelled from around the nation to show solidarity with the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Gomeroi man Bubbly Weatherall, said that there was a "sombre feeling" at the Block on Monday after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC).

"But waking up this morning and seeing the news that the Federal Government is going to give $5 million to secure a loan to get Aboriginal housing on the block, it's a great little victory for us, but it will be one of many to come in the future I believe.

"I hope that it gives blackfullas around Australia the impetus to keep on fighting and never give up."

"I hope that it gives blackfullas around Australia the impetus to keep on fighting and never give up."

Jenny Munro, a leader of the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy, said "The work that was done to secure the $5million for housing for this place was not done by the Aboriginal Housing Company it was done by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the people who supported us here for the 15 months.

"So I want to say, firstly, thank you to all those supporters they’ve done a magnificent job under very very trying conditions.

Follow NITV on Facebook
Never miss out on anything from the home of Indigenous storytelling, with TV programs that inspire, instill pride and lead to a greater respect of Indigenous Australians and Aboriginal culture.

"I'd like to say to Black Australia – think about whose country this is, whose land it is and take a lesson from us. Resistance might get you a whole lot further than acquiescence will."

"I'd like to say to Black Australia – think about whose country this is, whose land it is and take a lesson from us. Resistance might get you a whole lot further than acquiescence will."

The AHC argued that commercial developments like shops and offices needed to be built to help fund the housing. But the Federal grant will see the company secure $65 million in bank finance to proceed with the project. Sixty-two houses are planned to be built.

Recommended reading
Lorna Munro asks community to 'warrior up' after tent embassy loses court case
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy is back in court on Thursday, maybe for the last time as the NSW Supreme Court decides on a time for the Embassy to be dismantled and its residents evicted.

For the project to proceed, AHC CEO, Mick Mundine will need to sign off on the proposal.

Alisi Tutuila, AHC Chairperson, told NITV News that the over the coming days "we'll be working with the Commonwealth and the Minister, as well as our board, to workshop through some of those terms and conditions so that we can make an agreed outcome and move forward."