- Tender released for architect to design Kununurra Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation
- $20 million facility will provide accommodation for up to 102 visitors a night
- Expected to create more than 100 construction jobs and generate $41 million economic activity
A purpose-built, short-stay accommodation facility for Aboriginal visitors to Kununurra has reached a key milestone, with a request for tender advertised seeking an architect to design the build.
The State Government has provided $20 million in funding under the State Recovery Plan to build the Kununurra Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation (Kununurra ASSA) facility, which will provide local employment opportunities both during and after construction.
The Kununurra ASSA facility will accommodate up to 102 Aboriginal visitors to the town and provide guests with access to culturally informed, affordable, safe, and secure accommodation.
As the largest regional centre in the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, Kununurra is a hub for employment, amenities, health services, social care, and education and training.
Aboriginal people living in the East Kimberley Region regularly travel into Kununurra to access health care and other services and facilities, to visit family and friends, attend funerals, undertake training and to meet cultural responsibilities.
Guests will be able to stay for up to 28 days, the standard length of stay for Western Australia's three existing ASSA facilities in Broome, Derby and Kalgoorlie.
Stakeholder engagement undertaken by Think Culture and PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2021 found positive support for a short stay facility and its preferred location, with demand from surrounding Aboriginal communities as well as those living across the border in Northern Territory communities.
The Department of Communities is managing the Kununurra ASSA project from site selection, design and construction, to the procurement and management of a service provider to operate the facility.
There are currently three Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation facilities successfully operating in Kalgoorlie, Derby and Broome, with a further three under development in Geraldton, Kununurra and Perth.
This Request for Tender (RFT) for architectural services for the facility can be found at the Tenders WA website.
Comments attributed to Housing Minister John Carey:
"The Aboriginal Short Stay model has been really successful in other parts of the State, including the West Kimberley, so it's fantastic to see the Kununurra facility progressing.
"The project itself will deliver significant benefits for the region with an estimated 100 jobs during construction, and generate some $41 million of economic activity.
"It's critical Aboriginal people visiting larger regional centres from remote communities have a safe, stable and secure place to stay. It helps to avoid situations of overcrowding and sleeping rough, but also provides improved access to support services and employment opportunities."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"Housing and accommodation are key components of Closing the Gap and we know from our broad consultation that Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation facilities help achieve better outcomes in other areas like health and education.
"The Kununurra ASSA will be a welcome addition to Western Australia's network of purpose-designed facilities in key regional centres, which have significantly reduced the number of people sleeping rough.
"We know up to 10 per cent of Aboriginal people in regional centres are temporary residents from surrounding remote communities accessing services that are only available in larger regional centres, visiting family and attending to shopping and personal business.
"The project is a great example of the State Government's continued commitment to Aboriginal people and the East Kimberley region."
Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna:
"I know firsthand how important the Broome and Derby Aboriginal Short Stay facility has been for people living in remote communities in the West Kimberley. The Kununurra facility will help expand this successful model to people in the East Kimberley.
"Travelling to larger regional centres is a part of life for Aboriginal people living in remote communities, and the Aboriginal Short Stay model ensures they have a culturally appropriate place to stay, helping to avoid issues such as overcrowding or sleeping rough.
"I am thrilled to see the Kununurra facility reach this important milestone - the design is one of the most important aspects, and it's absolutely critical it meets the needs of the Aboriginal communities who will be using the accommodation."
Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6400