As housing fight intensifies, 12,000 West Australians wait in limbo

The futures of 12,000 vulnerable West Australians hang in the balance as a poisonous feud deepens between the West Australian and federal governments.

Preventable third-world diseases such as rheumatic fever are rife in the 165 communities housing about 21 per cent of WA’s Aboriginal population (you can explore their names, locations and rough population estimates by clicking on the map below).

The prevalence of these diseases is attributed in part to homelessness and overcrowded, unsanitary houses; Australia being one of the few countries in the world where rheumatic fever is still a serious problem is a “national disgrace”, according to the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

Yet the 1350 new houses WA needs to build over the next decade are nowhere being provided as the Commonwealth walks away from a 50-year history of funding remote housing.

The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing gave WA $110 million per year for the past 10 years. The state pays about $90 million annually for power, sewage, water and maintenance.

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Source: The Canberra Times