- $8.8 million rebuild and construction of 22 homes part of broader $23.8 million project
- Significant Aboriginal employment achieved under works program
Work to improve facilities and address overcrowding has resulted in a 40 per cent boost of available bedrooms for residents in the remote Aboriginal community of Tjuntjuntjara, 690 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie.
Contractors recently completed work on four new and 18 rebuilt homes - construction that saw the addition of extra bedrooms to existing homes, enclosure of external ablution areas and the installation of flushing toilets.
Security and amenities were also improved as part of the renewal program which saw the number of bedrooms in the community rise from 62 to 87, and a significant improvement in living conditions.
The Department of Communities, which managed the construction contract, undertook extensive community consultation to determine preferred housing designs.
The construction contract - designed to encourage and support Aboriginal employment opportunities - was awarded to PINDAN and site works began in December 2017. Severe weather events that cut off access to the community earlier this year delayed completion.
The department also formed contracts directly with local Aboriginal businesses and corporations to provide design and consultancy services, access to local fuel and accommodation management services.
The program of works required the temporary relocation of 14 households to a camp-style facility designed by the Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation (PTAC). The community will retain the facility to accommodate visitors during lore time.
The rebuild and construction of the 22 homes was funded under the 2016-18 National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH) agreement at a cost of $8.8 million.
Significant upgrades to essential services infrastructure, estimated to cost up to $15 million, are also well underway and will include improvements to the supply and quality of drinking water, a common effluent scheme, and improved power generation and distribution.
Tjuntjuntjara is home to the Spinifex people. Although it has an official population of about 160 people, it also serves as a cultural hub and its population can treble during peak periods for lore and other gatherings in the region.
Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
"These works, one of the biggest single investments in a remote community in WA, have greatly improved living conditions in Tjuntjuntjara and provided significant local employment opportunities.
"I am advised that residents who have moved into their new homes have praised the designs as well suited to accommodating their families.
"This project highlights the many challenges that confront builders and other contractors, government and community members, when working in remote locations across WA and I congratulate all those who helped to achieve this great result."
Minister's office - 6552 5300