High hopes for “the indigenous dozen”

November 22nd, 2013

Patricia Karvelas writes in The Australian – “Tony Abbott has recruited 12 of the most powerful business and indigenous figures in the country to provide advice on Aboriginal economic reform, including Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly and Rio Tinto managing director David Peever.

The Weekend Australian has obtained the full list of Mr Abbott’s hand-picked appointees to the Prime Minister’s indigenous council, which will be led by Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine and give him bold ideas to closing the disadvantage gap.”

HH notes that in amongst the dozen are 2 members of the previous Prime Minister’s (Kevin Rudd) Indigenous Housing Policy Commission – Leah Armstrong and Warren Mundine. They saw first hand the hopeless unravelling of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and resigned along with all the other members of the Commission.  Another of the ‘dozen’, who has a comprehensive knowledge of indigenous health and the links to the living environment, is Dr Ngaire Brown.

With 3, or 25%, of the ‘indigenous dozen’ having detailed knowledge of the housing and health issues, plus a concerned Prime Minister and big business acumen also represented in the ‘dozen’, we hope to see a dramatic change in the implementation of the big money National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing. Perhaps housing and health can be improved by re-thinking the delivery of the program at the midway point with $3 billion still to spend. Imagine – better functioning houses, better use of public money and local indigenous employment and involvement in the program. HH offers the ‘dozen’ all the resources of Housing for Health to ensure better housing, health and employment outcomes of the program.

But wait …was that a pig just seen flying by…