Show me the money!

Show me the money…

The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing is very clear when it comes to stated goals and target numbers. The then current FaHCSIA Minister, Ms Jenny Macklin, has been very vocal about sticking to the target numbers for new and upgraded houses.

Various reviews of the program have similarly noted, and carved in stone, the average costs for new and upgraded houses as well as putting limits on the program’s overheads and fees.

All of this is OK until you try and juggle the figures so that the cost of the combined works meets the final budget figure.

HH is not pretending to have all the information, nor should we, but the gap between the stated budget and program scope is so great we would like some direction as to where the money is going.

To be clear, HH:

  • supports the total program budget of $5.5 billion dollars
  • supports the mix of works that includes 4,200 new houses, extensive rebuilds of around 1600 houses, upgrading of 3,200 houses and infrastructure works to support the new houses
  • supports the strong emphasis on Indigenous employment throughout the program
  • would also support the capped overhead/fees costs at the stated 8%.

We have run the numbers through a simple spreadsheet process and arrived at the following results:

National Indigenous Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing

(click here to download detailed budget figures)

If admin and overhead costs were 8% (as stated) $3,478,680,000
If admin and overhead costs were 30% $4,187,300,000
If admin and overhead costs were 70%     $5,475,700,000

Clearly we are doing something very wrong and would ask the following questions:

1. Are the costs, as publicly stated by Government, for the various works correct?

  • New houses have an average cost per house of $450,000
  • Rebuild for a house has an average cost of $200,000
  • Upgrade average cost per house of $75,000

2. Are infrastructure works costs (see detailed costing attached) reasonable and are these works still being funded by the federal government from this program budget?  

3. Are the fees and charges still being capped at 8% and if so what does this mean? 

4. If the above figures are all correct…why are our initial estimates $2 billion dollars less than the stated budget? 

5. Is it possible that fees and charges have been raised to 70%? 

6. What long term employment numbers are being achieved and at what additional cost be house? 

HH is interested in the mix of works and cost and why there seems no correlation with the national program budget. We think this is a BIG ISSUE.