No agreement undermines future of remote communities

Posted: June 28th, 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT: Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) has called on the State Government to release details of its plans to manage funding of remote Aboriginal communities into the future.

Natalie Parker, YMAC Co-Chairperson, and Nyiyaparli (central Pilbara region) woman, said with only a few days until the Commonwealth and State Governments’ National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing expires, residents of remote communities across Western Australia were facing deep uncertainty over their future.

“For a decade, the agreement has provided much-needed funding to address overcrowding, homelessness and the poor condition of housing in remote Aboriginal communities,” Ms Parker said.

“The current agreement between the Federal and State Governments is due to expire this Saturday 30 June, and despite negotiations it seems neither party has a plan for future sustainable funding.

“YMAC is concerned there seems to be no plan in place with approximately 30 remote Aboriginal communities and hundreds of families within our region affected.

“YMAC understands the deep cultural and spiritual value that living on Country holds for many Traditional Owners; allowing them to practice traditional Law and customs as recognised under their native title determinations.

“The forced movement of Aboriginal people away from their Country is well understood to cause long-term trauma, social issues and degradation of land and culture – it is completely unacceptable in 2018.”

Simon Hawkins, YMAC Chief Executive, said research had consistently shown direct links between reliable housing and key social indicators including health, education, community safety and economic participation.

“The State and Commonwealth must reach agreement on the future funding of remote Aboriginal housing or they will undermine the sustainability of these homeland communities, and displace hundreds of WA Aboriginal families,” Mr Hawkins said.

YMAC calls on both governments to demonstrate a sustainable plan and respect for the health, wellbeing and safety of all Aboriginal people living remotely in WA.

See the full media statement here: Remote Communities Funding

Media Contact: Jane Grljusich, Communications Manager, 0427 463 796,