LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – Home ownership is a step closer for the residents of Ilpeye-Ilpeye town camp in Alice Springs, with the Australian Government reaching a landmark agreement including a compensation package with Ilpeye-Ilpeye land owners that will provide the means for residents to build their own homes.
The Australian Government acquired the Ilpeye-Ilpeye land in 2010 after extensive consultations with residents, who expressed a strong wish to change their communal land title to freehold so they could own their own homes.
Since acquiring the land, the Australian Government has been working closely with Ilpeye-Ilpeye residents to reach an agreement on a package that supports Aboriginal land owners to maximise the potential of their land and unlock the benefits for private home ownership and economic development.
This agreement will provide the Aboriginal land owners with an area of freehold title once subdivision works are completed by July 2014.
Ilpeye-Ilpeye will be the first town camp in the Northern Territory to undergo a full subdivision process under Northern Territory planning legislation, meaning they will be able to develop their own land and own their own homes.
The subdivision, jointly funded by the Australian Government and Ilpeye-Ilpeye land owners, will improve the standard of infrastructure and services in the town camp so that municipal and essential services can be delivered in Ilpeye-Ilpeye like in the rest of Alice Springs.
The landmark agreement will support the construction of standard roads, footpaths, drainage and essential services infrastructure like any new suburb in a major town.
This will help bring Ilpeye-Ilpeye in line with Alice Springs and the work being done as part of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan.
It will also create local jobs, with the work to be delivered under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, which includes an Indigenous employment target of 20 per cent over the life of the program.
Under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, more than $100 million of housing and infrastructure works have been delivered across all 18 towns camps in Alice Springs. This included six new houses in Ilpeye-Ilpeye and upgrades to other homes to make them safe and healthy for families.
Like other parts of the country, individual land titles will enable financial institutions to provide mortgages to residents to own their own homes.
This landmark agreement is the result of a strong partnership between land owners and the Australian Government, working together to develop land in a way that creates lasting benefits for residents and future generations.
The landmark agreement will also ensure long term management of public housing by the Northern Territory Government alongside privately owned homes, providing a mix of housing options like elsewhere in Australia.
Jenny Macklin (pictured)
Minister for Indigenous Affairs