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Thursday, 25 November 1971
Page: 3758

Mr Cross (BRISBANE. QLD) asked the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, upon notice:

(1)   What sums were provided in the Budgets of the (a) Commonwealth, (b) States, (c) Northern Territory and (d) Australian Capital Territory for the construction of houses for Aborigines and Islanders in the years 1969-70, 1970-71.

(2)   How many houses were constructed (a) on Government settlements and missions, (b) to house Aborigines previously living in a fringe dwelling environment and (c) to house or rehouse Aborigines living in cities, towns or villages.

(3)   How many Aborigines and Islanders live in substandard dwellings.

(4)   How many houses would need to be built in the current financial year to keep pace with Aboriginal population growth.

(5)   How many houses were actually built for Aborigines in the year 1969-70.

Mr Howson (CASEY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Environment, Aborigines and the Arts) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows. State authorities and the Department of the

Interior have provided information so that the answer could be compiled:


(2)   Aboriginal housing is not usually separated into the categories asked in the question, and conditions in each State and the Northern Territory vary.

New South Wales -

(a)   and (b), including 8 pensioner units at Woodenbong.

(c)   85 houses constructed in towns.

Victoria -

(a)   1

(b)   18

(c)   24. In addition 47 Aborigines commenced purchase of their own houses through Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs finance.

Queensland -

(a)   74

(b)   and (c) 172

South Australia -

(a)   12

(b)   Nil

(c)   47

Western Australia - (a), (b) and (c) 221

Tasmania -

(c)   4

Northern Territory -

(a)   70 plus 14 nearing completion

(b)   4

(c)   20

Many Aborigines have been assisted under normal provision of housing in urban centres through the Housing Commission in each State and the Northern Territory.

(3)   Figures are not available. The honourable member will appreciate, of course, that there are wide variations in the requirements of individual Aborigines and their families which must be related to levels of aspiration, sophistication and standard of living.

(4)   New South Wales-

Not known

Victoria -

Approximate estimate 156

Queensland -

Not known

South Australia -

Exact figures are not known although it is estimated that a total of 240 houses are needed at present.

Western Australia -


Tasmania -


Northern Territory -

Approximately 74 houses each -to accommodate 5 persons.

(5)   NewSouth Wales- 99 purchased or constructed

Victoria - 2 built, 25 purchased

Queensland - 162 purchased or constructed

South Australia - 32 purchased on constructed

Western Australia - 144 purchased or built

Tasmania - 4 purchased

Northern Territory -

48.   In addition 23 houses were built by the Progress Association at Maningrida using timber provided free of cpst by the Government.

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