The Coalition Government will invest $1 million to fund land tenure reform and infrastructure upgrades in the Far North Queensland community of Mossman Gorge.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, jointly announced the funding to support the pilot project, which will be delivered in partnership with the Queensland Government.
“One of the most significant challenges to economic development in Mossman Gorge is the current land tenure arrangements which hamper home ownership and business development,” Minister Scullion said.
“This pilot project will address this situation through land tenure reform by enabling individual interests in land to be issued.
“Most importantly, the project will lead to better services for local residents and enable $3.7 million in social housing upgrades to occur.
“The project will see a full subdivision of community land and provide a pathway for home ownership as well as an upgrade of municipal infrastructure including roads, water and sewerage reticulation.
“The people of Mossman Gorge have a strong interest in private home ownership, and this subdivision will at last make this a reality. This project will include upgrades to all homes in the community.”
Mr Entsch said the project would boost employment among local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as it would be a requirement that Indigenous businesses play a key role in the infrastructure upgrades.
“I would like to congratulate the Mossman Gorge community for its ongoing commitment to improving local economic, housing and municipal outcomes,” Mr Entsch said.
“In communities where home ownership is already a reality, there’s been a high level of uptake from locals wanting the responsibility of owning and maintaining their property.
“Not only does it boost people’s economic participation, but there’s a financial benefit for local councils that can receive rates and it also leads to greater levels of community pride.
“I’d also like to acknowledge John McIntyre and the Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc board who together have driven this home ownership proposal with the Federal and State Governments. Their passion and dedication to improving outcomes for local Indigenous people is to be commended.
“The Coalition is committed to developing the north and I am so pleased this project has 16 local Indigenous people signed up to undertake construction training ahead of the work to upgrade the infrastructure starting.”
This is the sixth land tenure pilot project funded under the Northern Australian White Paper.