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Land carve up won't deliver Aboriginal home ownership

"Mal Brough's plan to overturn Aboriginal community ownership of their land is not about private home ownership on remote communities. It is just a foot in the door strategy to overturn community land tenure," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"This is not the way to tackle the Aboriginal housing crisis."

"For a government that promotes itself on its economic credentials, this plan is an embarrassment. The Minister has failed home economics 101. Private home ownership is not the economic panacea, nor is it realistic," said Senator Siewert.

"Any Australian family wanting to buy its own home does the maths to see what mortgage they can afford."

"Aboriginal families on these remote communities have the lowest disposable incomes in the country, and houses in remote communities are the most expensive to build," she said.

"Which bank would loan a family $400 000 to build a house, knowing that they couldn't meet the payments and the resale value of the asset is so poor?"

"The government is not putting on the table the $2-3 billion needed to address the Aboriginal housing crisis," said Senator Siewert.

"How is it that overturning community tenure suddenly fixes this problem?" "Research clearly shows that land tenure is not the major obstacle to Aboriginal home ownership," said Senator Siewert.

In the absence of a major investment to back it up, it is clear that the push for private ownership of community lands is purely ideological and will not deliver an end to the housing crisis," she concluded.

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