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Improved housing for Indigenous families in the Walgett region.



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Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Media Release

Improved housing for Indigenous families in the Walgett region

21/11/2008

Joint Media Release with Bev Manton, Chair - NSW Aboriginal Land Council

Upgrades to 70 houses in Walgett and the Gingie and Namoi Reserves will begin in the next few months as part of a $2.1 million project to improve housing for Indigenous families and children.

The houses, owned by the Walgett Aboriginal Land Council, will undergo repairs and maintenance along with improvements to some, including the construction of shade areas and fencing.

An audit of the required repairs and maintenance will be completed by the end of next week and work will begin soon after.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the upgrades would provide safe and healthy homes for Indigenous families.

"Children will never get a good start in life if they grow up in overcrowded, sub-standard houses," Ms Macklin said.

"Decent housing is central to the Government's determination to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

"The Government has set ambitious targets to make sure Indigenous Australians can have the fundamentals essential to a decent life - a safe and well-maintained home, good health and nutrition, a decent education and the skills and training to get and keep a job."

The Walgett project is being managed by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, which is working with the Walgett Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The chair of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Bev Manton, said the housing upgrades were an important part of improving services for Aboriginal people living in Walgett and on the Gingie and Namoi Reserves.

"The need for adequate and safe housing is a concern for all Aboriginal communities across the State. Urban, Regional and Remote communities have the same needs with different influences impacting on housing and housing related services," Ms Manton said.

"Aboriginal people in NSW have the same aspirations as other Australians; to be able to live in adequate, safe and affordable housing."

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