Foundations for Indigenous welfare reform 


Portfolio: Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs


Why is this important?


  • The Australian Government is committed to reducing passive welfare, which has had a major negative impact on social and economic development in many Indigenous communities.
  • In partnership with the Hopevale community in Cape York the Government will lay the foundations for welfare reform through combinations of stronger obligations on residents and incentives that encourage civic and individual responsibility.
  • The agreement will aim to establish an economic base and change behaviour by strengthening obligations under normal public housing tenancy arrangements, improving the condition of existing houses and introducing home ownership in Hope Vale.
  • New tenancy agreements will be negotiated with residents and they will participate in Financial Income Management (FIM) and commit to maintain houses and yards.
  • The Australian Government will provide funding for home improvements, financial income management, develop and service house lots for home ownership on freehold land, provide access to the Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) home ownership programme and establish a business precinct in Hope Vale.

Who will benefit?


  • The 1500 strong community of Hopevale will have the opportunity to benefit from better housing and home ownership and increasing economic activity.
  • New standards of behaviour will emerge and school attendance will increase as a result of this initiative.
  • Other Indigenous communities will benefit from lessons learnt as a result of this agreement.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?


  • The Australian Government will commit $10 million in 2006-07 from existing resources in the Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio, with additional funding available from IBA through its home ownership programme.

What have we done in the past?


  • This initiative builds on other programmes that aim to address passive welfare, the reformed CDEP scheme, removal of Remote Area Exemptions from the income support activity test and the FIM programme.

When will the initiative conclude?


  • The agreement will be for an initial two-year period commencing in 2006-07.

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