Shadow Minister for Planning, Lands and Heritage Mr Neil Thomson MLC has welcomed the McGowan Labor Government’s major housing maintenance contract with the Ngaanyatjarra Services Aboriginal Corporation (NSAC).
“Closing the Gap is important and all parties must work together to address it,” Mr Thomson said.
It is understood this major housing contract with NSAC worth $32 makes it the third largest contract since the start of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy (2018).
“While we support this initiative, it is important that proper checks and balances are put in place to ensure the homes are well-maintained and the contract is administered efficiently,” Mr Thomson said.
“An ultimate goal should be to see remote communities transition from state and Commonwealth funded housing to home ownership, underpinned by strong local economies.
He added that “what we ultimately need is long term empowerment.”
Mr Thomson called on the McGowan Labor Government to also adequately fund upgrades to key infrastructure in remote communities.
“There are concerns about the contamination of drinking water up in the Goldfields despite WA Labor’s $3.5 million spend affecting remote communities,” Mr Thomson said.
“I am disappointed by Minister Carey’s casual approach to the need to replace water pipes in Warburton and this won’t bode well with local residents in the future especially since WA Labor has abolished regional representation.
“Maintaining housing is one thing, and we certainly support that, but if people don’t have the critical upgrades to basic infrastructure needs, that makes it difficult to close the gap,” Mr Thomson said.
Mr Thomson has called on the McGowan Labor Government to get its priorities right when it comes to the regions.