By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Territory is getting $259.6m in additional financial assistance from the Commonwealth, Treasurer Scott Morrison (pictured) announced in Alice Springs today.
This additional funding represents the Commonwealth’s estimates of what the NT could have received from the increased GST pool if their relativity had remained the same as it was in the 2017-18 financial year.
Mr Morrison described this as “a fair outcome for Territorians” and NT Treasurer Nicole Manison welcomed the top up, following “a steep drop in GST funding over the past two years”.
She says half of the Territory’s revenue comes from GST: “With our small population and remote communities, this funding is critical to enable us to provide vital services to Territorians.”
The two governments have also reached agreement on remote housing and public hospital funding, “providing certainty for essential services in the Territory”.
• $550m for five years to support remote housing, matched by NT Government contributions, with the NT retaining responsibility for sub-leasing arrangements in these communities for the five-year period.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said “this new investment will help address severe overcrowding in remote communities” and comes on top of the $1.7b for remote housing in the Territory since 2008,” according to a media release.
“Aboriginal community control is at the heart of our investment, from decision-making to employment and business procurement to ensure we deliver long term sustainable change in remote communities.”
• Increased support for public hospitals for another five years, raising funding to $1.96b over the period 2020-21 to 2024-25.
• A “substantive” housing agreement which, once finalised, will provide funding equating to $98.5m over the next five years to support the delivery of affordable housing and homelessness services.
By ERWIN CHLANDA