- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yet to respond to calls to renew a funding deal
- Previous 10-year, $1.2 billion agreement due to expire on June 30
- PM asked: 'Don't walk away' from indigenous Australians
The clock is ticking for the Federal Government to make an acceptable offer to the Western Australian Government to jointly fund remote communities.
The previous agreement - a 10-year deal that saw a $1.2 billion Federal contribution - will expire on June 30, 2018, and the Commonwealth has indicated it intends to sever the arrangement and make the funding of remote communities solely a State responsibility.
The McGowan Government currently commits about $86 million annually to support about 12,000 people living in 165 remote communities across the State through the provision of housing, community infrastructure and related services.
Premier Mark McGowan wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on May 11, detailing his serious concerns about the consequences of the Federal Government walking away from an ongoing arrangement to jointly support remote communities.
The Premier is yet to receive a reply from the PM and ongoing talks between respective State and Commonwealth officials have failed to deliver a new agreement at this point.
Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
"WA's State Government contributes more than $86 million annually to support remote communities and help indigenous people continue their connection to culture and land.
"The Federal Government has historically jointly funded these communities. But in less than a week, it plans to walk away from this joint responsibility. Why?
"We need to secure the long-term future of the 165 remote communities in WA that thousands of people call home."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
"This is the single biggest cut to regional WA that will affect thousands of the most disadvantaged people in the country, yet we have heard nothing from the State Liberal or National parties to help them to convince their Federal colleagues to change their position.
"The Liberal and National parties have let down WA."
Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900