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Aboriginal housing Queensland

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(Statement by the Minister ftir Aboriginal Affairs, Mir Led Dohrison)

The Australian Government will have made direct grants to Aboriginal Housing Associations in Queensland in this financial year totalling at least $4.7m the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Qohnson, said today.

As a result, Aboriginal initiative had been given the go-ahead in a State which seemed dedicated to preserving its paternalistic approach to Aboriginal welfare. -

To date, 30 Aboriginal communities in Queensland had incorporated themselves or were in the process of incorporation, to provide houses for their people through co-operative effort.

Aboriginals in that State were more independent than they had oyer been in deciding the style in which they wished to live and where their homes would be.

The Minister said that when the States Grants (Aboriginal Assistance) Bill was introduced in Parliament last year it: was announced that $3.19m would be withheld from Queensland's bousing allocation and an equivalent amount funded directly to Aboriginal organisations...

This action was taken because of the unco-operativa attitude the Queensland State Government had adopted towards the Australian Government's intentions to take responsibility for planning and funding ' Aboriginal affairs in the States.

The Australian Government had nevertheless funded the Queensland Government to the extent of $7.6m for its State housing program for :

Aboriginals. This, together with the Housing Associations' $4.7m meant that a record $12.3m was being spent by the Australian Government on ·

housing for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in Queensland this year.

The Minister said that while housing remained one of the most crucial areas of Aboriginal welfare on which depended better health, family stability and regular employment, it would be necessary to continue to devote to it the largest slice of the Aboriginal budget.

Mr Dohnson is at present on a visit to Queensland Aboriginal communities as part of an Australia-wide familiarisation tour. He is in Cairns today and will fly to Ueipa and Mornington Island tomorrow.


25 Dune, 1975