WA remote housing row with feds escalates

The federal government’s refusal to enter into a new National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing threatens to damage the relationship between Western Australia and Commonwealth, the state’s Housing Minister Peter Tinley says.

The 10-year agreement expires on Saturday and a war-of-words between Mr Tinley and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion escalated as the week progressed.

Senator Scullion accused him and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt of a “dummy spit” when they complained about the end of the deal and labelled the Commonwealth’s offer of $60 million over the next three years inadequate.

The WA government also said Senator Scullion threatened not to pay the final, $43 million payment under the old agreement.

But he told AAP on Friday it would be provided “to deliver certainty to remote Indigenous communities in WA”.

An exasperated Mr Tinley said the cash had “being held up as a ransom note” and described the $60 million offer as an “exit payment”.

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