Federal Government backtrack on NT remote housing pledge

INDIGENOUS Affairs Nigel Scullion has backed away from his claim that the Federal Government would match the Territory’s $1.1 billion investment in remote housing across 10 years.

Speaking in Gunbalanya on Tuesday, Mr Scullion praised the NT Government for having the “gumption to put money on the table” in remote housing.

“And we’ll be matching that money, significant funds. They’ve put over $1.1 billion on the table and that’s why we’re having a conversation with the Northern Territory,” he said.

Mr Scullion said remote housing was a “shared responsibility”. But Mr Scullion’s office yesterday backed away from the commitment, and said no formal agreement had been reached.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he wanted the Commonwealth to honour Mr Scullion’s words.

“I’m not sure you can match without matching dollars. Then it’s not matching,” he said. Mr Gunner said the Federal Government should kick in $50 million a year for land servicing, in addition to $1.1 billion across 10 years. The pair will meet later this month.

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