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Palm Island Agreement between the Australian Government and Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council

Category: Agreement
Date: 11 October 2007
Date To: 10 October 2009
Sub Category:Indigenous Partnership
Location:Palm Island, Queensland, Australia
Alternative Names:
  • Palm Island "Building a Better Future for Palm Islanders" Agreement
  • Palm Island Agreement
  • Payments:
  • Service Delivery - Australian Government ($14 million)
  • Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership | Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure | Youth
    URL: http://www.facsia.gov.au/internet/minister3.nsf/content/palm_island_11oct07.htm/$File/palm_island_agreement.PDF
    Summary Information:
    The Palm Island Agreement between the Australian Government and the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council was signed on Palm Island on 11 October 2007 by the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, and the Mayor of Palm Island, Delena Foster.

    According to the Agreement, it 'constitutes a recognition and commitment to work together, and share the responsibility of building a positive and productive future for its residents.'(1.1) The Agreement contains reforms aimed at 'home ownership, improved tenancy management, targeted employment opportunities, supported mobility, education, enterprise development, improved service delivery, income management support, capacity building and leadership, and the preservation and enhancement of cultural values.' The agreement also states that a key aim is to improve school attendance, primarily by making school attendance a condition for being eligible for internal home improvements. (3.1.2)

    The Palm Island Community 'acknowledges' that welfare reform initiatives are aimed at moving the community from dependency on income support to self sufficiency. In addition, the community will include local employment stipulations in all service contracts, and look at employment strategies for the mining industry and defence forces, in particular.
    Detailed Information:
    The following represents a summary of the key provisions of this Agreement.

    Housing
    Provisions include that:
  • the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council will outsource a tenancy manager to perform duties in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1994 Qld;
  • new tenants are not allocated a house unless they sign a 'New Tenancy Agreement'. Under these agreements tenants are required to pay the maximum rent level for their dwelling plus 10% as a risk factor, and are not eligible for any of the benefits flowing from this Agreement. If tenants continually breach their agreement they will be evicted by the Tenancy Manager in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1994 (Qld); and
  • the Tenancy Manager will ensure that 'New Tenancy Agreements' are consistent with the Queensland Department of Housing rent setting policy, and that rent is increased over a specified period to normalise rates.

    Home ownership opportunities:
    The Agreement states that home ownership opportunities 'are recognised by all parties, as an important and necessary component of building economic independence and self reliance for local families and individuals.' (3.3.1)

    These provisions include that:
  • families will be able to have access to home loans through the Indigenous Business Australia (IBA); and
  • certain families interested in purchasing homes will be assisted in purchasing homes and land on existing vacant lots.

    Home Improvements
    People that sign up to a 'New Tenancy Agreement' are eligible for the Pride of Place External program (POPE) which includes funding for painting, yard clean up, fencing, landscaping and tree planting and minor repairs to the value of $2500. In addition, up to $7500 is available for indoor renovations. Under the scheme, 'participants are also eligible for assistance towards the purchase of land or a future home deposit, on the basis of establishing a good rent record over a period of time.' (3.4.6)

    Establishing a Viable and Friendly Business Environment
    This relates to establishing a retail precinct on Palm Island, including that the Palm Island Shire Council will ensure that it:
  • sets aside an appropriately zoned area so that retail development and private businesses can operate and ensure leasing arrangements are in place;
  • subject to a feasibility study for retail developments, supports the community store being the anchor tenant, and
  • commits to diverting funds for renovations to existing community store premises.

    The agreements also contains clauses relating to building capacity and leadership in the community; the implementation of this agreement; and the general improvement of service delivery to Palm Island.

    The agreement is dependant upon legislation passed by the Queensland Government in relation to land tenure changes to allow for private home ownership on DOGIT land.

  • Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Palm Island Improved Land Management Practices Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • People
  • Palm Island Indigenous Community

  • References

    General Reference
    Australian Government (October 2007) Palm Island Agreement "Building A Better Future for Palm Islanders"
    Media Release
    The Hon Mal Brough MP (October 2007) Howard Government Backs Palm Island Plan
    Newspaper Article
    Kearney, S. (October 2007) Welfare Quarantine Wins Support. The Australian
    ABC News Online (October 2007) Brough signs $14m Palm Island housing plan.
    Abc News Online (October 2007) Brough sure Palm Islanders to embrace housing deal
    Alf Wilson (24 October 2007) Palm Island housing deal signed

    Glossary

    Indigenous Partnership | Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) (Australia)

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