Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Minister sees brighter future for Halls Creek

    17/02/2008 9:37 AM
     
    17/2/08

    Housing and Works and Indigenous Affairs Minister Michelle Roberts was in Halls Creek today to officially open the Better Life Project office.

    “This is a hub for the Better Life Project team in Halls Creek to continue their work with the community to help improve the lives of people in the town and nearby communities,” Mrs Roberts said.

    “The State Government recognised the need for urgent intervention in Halls Creek to improve child protection, housing, education and restore law and order and established the Better Life Project to address these issues.”

    The project has entered its second year of a four-year program.

    Originally it was given $36.6million in Government funding. However, Mrs Roberts recognised the community’s achievements in securing from the Government an additional $9.3million to deliver 20 more houses in Halls Creek.

    “Improved housing is essential to providing a better future for the children of Halls Creek,” she said.

    “Seven extra public rental houses will be provided, as well as 13 more houses to attract and retain Government employees.

    “Four public rental units have already been completed and another is under contract for construction. A further six public rental homes will be progressed as part of the project.

    “In a joint venture with the Beacon Foundation, Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley and the Department of Housing and Works, five concrete public rental dwellings are currently in the design stage.

    “Another seven public housing dwellings, which are part of a State-wide innovative housing project, will be delivered using new building technologies.

    “A total of 12 public housing properties have also been upgraded, with a contract let to upgrade a further two. Work will commence on 10 new dwellings at town-based communities this year.”

    The Minister said 18 houses were being constructed under the Government Regional Officer housing program, with 12 of those homes due for completion in July this year. A further five dwellings were being designed.

    “This additional housing for Government officers in Halls Creek will help secure the people we need to assist the community’s development,” Mrs Roberts said.

    The Minister said that as part of the housing program, five local indigenous Western Australians were undertaking apprenticeships.

    “There is nothing more satisfying than gaining new skills and being able to use them for a real job, and those are just some of the opportunities being created for locals in Halls Creek,” Mrs Roberts said.

    The Minister said attendance at the local high school had increased by 20 per cent in the last 12 months.

    “Attendance has risen so much that additional classrooms have been recommissioned to meet demand,” she said.

    “The Clontarf Football Academy has been established for boys at the high school and a girls’ basketball academy has also been established.

    “Locals are continuing to be engaged in Halls Creek through the Community Reference Group (CRG) and I want to acknowledge the commitment and tireless work of the reference group member,” Mrs Roberts said.

    Kimberley MLA Carol Martin today welcomed the announcement.

    “The additional housing part of the project demonstrates the State Government’s commitment to working with the Halls Creek community to address the challenges they face, and ensuring the residents and children of Halls Creek can look forward to a better future,” Mrs Martin said.

    Minister's office - 9213 6600