• Mick Gooda has been appointed Queensland's new First Nations housing advisor. (AAP)Source: AAP
The Queensland government appoints Mick Gooda to a new role to help improve housing outcomes for Indigenous Australians.
10 Oct 2018 - 2:14 PM  UPDATED 10 Oct 2018 - 2:33 PM

Mick Gooda has been appointed as Queensland's first ever First Nations housing advisor to help improve remote housing in the state. 

The former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner said a stable home environment is a critical platform for better health, education, justice and child protection for Indigenous Australians. 

He's promised transparency and collaboration between the state's remote communities and government as it works towards securing more housing, and will work to get communities involved. 

"I want to get our mob involved in the decision-making, we've gotta make it fair dinkum by taking the time building relationships and taking a person-centred approach to tenancy," he told NITV News. 

"That business about working with us instead of doing things to us has been said so many times but ... we've got to make it a reality in Queensland that we work with people, rather than the usual rhetoric people wheel out when they want to make us feel good," he said on Wednesday at the announcement.

"People will be fully informed, there won't be any secrets, there won't be any hollow logs around the place."

His appointment comes as federal funding for remote housing ends with no new agreement in place. Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said housing "is the responsibility of the state and territory governments".

The National Partnership on Remote Housing, an agreement between Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia with the Commonwealth, expired on 30 June 2018. 

Earlier this year, the Commonwealth government pledged $550 million to the Northern Territory with funding to be matched by the NT government. But negotiations remain ongoing with the remaining states. 

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Queensland's Deputy Premier and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Jackie Trad said Mr Gooda's 'wealth of experience' will assist in negotiations.   

"This is especially important as we are approaching a crisis in remote housing brought on by the Commonwealth's disgraceful decision to completely cut funding to building new housing," she said. 

As a Gangulu man from central Queensland, Mr Gooda has long advocated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples particularly in remote, regional and urban environments, and most recently was a Royal Commissioner into the child protection and youth detention systems of the NT.

Queensland Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the state government had committed $40 million towards a modest remote housing program for next year to protect jobs while it continues to seek federal funding. 

"This investment will support up to 132 full time equivalent jobs, build up to 17 new houses, 68 extensions and 32 lot developments for future construction in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” said Mr de Brenni.

“Mr Gooda will also work closely with Indigenous Community Housing Organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Local Government Councils and key stakeholders to shape the formation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Body." 

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the additional $40 million is on top of the $145.7 million already committed by the Palaszczuk Government to remote housing through the 2018-19 State Budget.

"This is a modest response to significant remaining overcrowding and housing demand in remote communities and is not a substitute for long-term Commonwealth funding," she said. 

"Queensland’s offer of up to $1.08 billion over 10 years towards a new remote housing agreement with the Commonwealth stands, if the Commonwealth is prepared to reciprocate our offer."  

- with AAP