“Worth of Indigenous housing jobs questioned” ABC report

March 18th, 2012

The report from the ABC questions the type of work that local Indigenous people were involved in during the $1.7 billion dollar Federally-funded Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Project (SIHIP) in the Northern Territory.

Territory Opposition spokesman for Indigenous policy Adam Giles says staff in Alice Springs were told they would learn a trade but were used to pick up rubbish and clean up after contractors.

“I have spoken to a number of the employees who have raised concerns that they were being used for Indigenous employment numbers and doing menial tasks, rather than receiving their training and the competencies required to try and meet some trade qualifications in the future,” he said. 

By way of contrast Housing for Health projects have involved local Indigenous people in all aspects of every project – house testing and fix work, computer work, community liaison for older community members, trade assistants, lunch preparation and assisting in applied research projects such as water testing and data logging.