Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion was grilled on the soon to be expired National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) during today's Senate Estimates hearing.
While Minister Scullion said he’s “confident” a deal with both Western Australia and South Australia will be signed in coming week, he called his negations with Queensland “problematic” and “challenging”.
The Turnbull government confirmed its promise to match the Northern Territory’s commitment for remote Indigenous housing with this year's federal budget.
The government committed $550 million to the Northern Territory in the budget but failed to mention funding to South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.
“State governments must take responsibility to all residents including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” he said.
He did not confirm a timeline for when the contracts for South Australia and Western Australia would be signed, saying it would be soon.
Although the current partnership agreement is set to expire on June 30, Minister Scullion said construction in all of the states will not cease straight away, with some projects continuing under existing funding allocations.