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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Page: 8130

Indigenous Housing


Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory) (14:56): My question is to Senator Cormann, the Minister representing the Prime Minister. On 6 November, special envoy Tony Abbott announced a 'new initiative in preparation for housing in Borroloola.' When did special envoy Abbott first tell the Prime Minister about his secret plan to move 30-year-old Defence houses to Borroloola to deal with the housing crisis?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:56): I must admit that I'm not aware of the specific circumstances the senator is raising, so we'll take that question on notice and get back to her and to the Senate as soon as possible.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McCarthy, a supplementary question.



Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory) (14:57): What advice was provided to the Prime Minister by his department about the cost of this secret plan? Does the Prime Minister support the expenditure for these houses that his own department has said will only be used for two years?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:57): I do know that Senator Scullion could have assisted you with this question if you were genuinely interested in receiving an answer on the spot. But, as I've indicated in response to the primary question: given I'm not aware of the specific details that you're raising, I will seek advice and get back to the Senate on notice as soon as possible.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McCarthy, a final supplementary question.



Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory) (14:57): The Commonwealth promised $15 million to Borroloola to improve housing nearly 10 years ago. How much money has the Prime Minister given his special envoy Abbott to spend on these 30-year-old interim houses?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:58): I refer the senator to my previous answers.