Back to search results

printable versionPrint this page

Agreement for the Provision and Management of Housing and Related Infrastructure for Indigenous People in the Northern Territory

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Bilateral Agreement
Date: 1 August 2002
Sub Category:Framework Agreement | Funding Agreement
Location:Northern Territory, Australia
Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership | Health and Community Services | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure
URL: http://www.ihant.org.au/pdf/bilateral.pdf
Summary Information:
The parties to the Agreement for the Provision and Management of Housing and Related Infrastructure for Indigenous People in the Northern Territory (the Agreement) are the Commonwealth of Australia (the Commonwealth), represented by the Minister for Family and Community Services, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and the Northern Territory Government (Territory), represented by the Minister for Housing. The Agreement replaces an earlier Agreement of 30 June 1995, and is a reaffirmation by the parties to improving housing outcomes for Indigenous people by implementing joint arrangements for the effective planning and delivery of housing and related infrastructure.

However, it is intended that this Agreement will be superseded within 12 months of its coming into operation by a combined Housing and Infrastructure Agreement which will ensure a coordinated approach to the planning and delivery of infrastructure in conjunction with housing provision.

The Agreement is made pursuant to the National Commitment to Improved Outcomes in the Delivery of Programs and Services for Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders (National Commitment) signed by the Council of Australian Governments on 7 December 1992. Development of the Agreement has also been informed by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Housing Ministers' 2001 reforms for achieving safe, healthy and sustainable housing for Indigenous Australians, which are set out in Building a Better Future: Indigenous Housing to 2010.

The Agreement provides for the continuation of the Indigenous Housing Authority of the Northern Territory (IHANT) and sets out planning and delivery arrangements for all components of the IHANT Housing Program.
Detailed Information:
The Agreement provides for the pooling of a number of Indigenous housing funds; the planning, programming and management of those pooled funds; for financial accountability and reporting; and the evaluation of outputs and outcomes from pooled funds. Pooled funds are to be used for the following purposes:
  • construction and purchase of dwellings;
  • renovation, upgrading, extension and maintenance of dwellings;
  • housing management programs;
  • provision of related infrastructure; and
  • the provision of housing-related support and information services.

    The objectives of the Agreement, which are to improve housing and related health outcomes for Indigenous Territorians are to be met by a number of measures, in particular by:
  • providing for the involvement and participation of Indigenous people in all levels of decision making on planning, establishing priorities, resource allocation, service delivery, evaluation and management of housing and related infrastructure services;
  • formalising a partnership between Indigenous people, represented by ATSIC, and the Northern Territory Government; and
  • clearly establishing the respective roles and responsibilities of ATSIC, the Commonwealth and the Territory.

    The respective roles of ATSIC, the Commonwealth and the Territory are set out in the Agreement. A substantial role for ATSIC and the Territory is in relation to IHANT. In particular ATSIC will:
  • liaise with the Territory and Commonwealth in relation to any decisions or policy matters to be developed for consideration by IHANT;
  • liaise with the Territory and Commonwealth in relation to joint projects or consultations being undertaken by IHANT;
  • provide advice to IHANT on ATSIC policy and priorities and future program allocations.

    In relation to IHANT, the Territory will:
  • provide information and recommendations on any matter that relates to the powers and functions of IHANT;
  • provide the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs as the Principal Program Manager for the planning and delivery of the IHANT Housing Program; and
  • work with IHANT to assist Indigenous community housing organisations to collect and report Indigenous housing data in accordance with the Agreement on National Indigenous Housing Information.

    All parties to the Agreement will provide representatives to participate in IHANT, the majority being provided through ATSIC, and both ATSIC and the Territory will contribute to the provision of a joint IHANT secretariat.

    Responsibility lies with ATSIC Regional Councils for the determination of regional priorities in the delivery of housing assistance and related infrastructure. Regional priorities will incorporate priorities expressed by communities and groups within their respective regions. Under the Agreement the Territory will continue to provide access to housing for Indigenous people in accordance with the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement which is focussed on the development and implementation of strategies and policies to help sustain urban Indigenous households and to pursue strategies to improve outcomes for Indigenous people in areas in which housing has an impact such as health, social, economic, training and employment. Development of policy will be undertaken in consultation and negotiation with IHANT.

    The powers and functions of IHANT are set out in the Agreement, the main functions being to:
  • develop and revise annually a five year rolling Strategic Plan for the delivery of housing and related infrastructure services to Aboriginal communities within the Northern Territory, and
  • develop a rolling three year Operational Plan, incorporating annual needs-based funding allocations, in accordance with the Strategic Plan.

    Strategic Plan: This Plan will be based on the national directions established in Building a Better Future: Indigenous Housing to 2010 and the needs-based strategic priorities identified by IHANT for the Northern Territory. Its primary objectives are to direct housing assistance on the basis of need and to allocate these resources to maximise the quantity and quality of the housing stock, giving priority to:
  • enabling healthy living practices through the development and implementation of appropriate housing design and technology;
  • ensuring the involvement of community organisations in the provision and design of their housing and related infrastructure; and
  • developing effective community housing management including regular maintenance for housing and related infrastructure.

    In pursuing the above objectives, IHANT will give priority to the development and maintenance of related employment and training programs; the provision of work to sustain local Indigenous building teams; and, where practicable, the engagement of Indigenous housing organisations to deliver services under the Agreement.

    Operational Plan: this will directly reflect the IHANT Strategic Plan and will include the regional operational plans for the seven ATSIC regions as determined by the respective ATSIC Regional Councils in accordance with the Strategic Plan. It will also include allocations for programs and projects selected by IHANT for its application on a Territory-wide basis; research projects and consultancies to assist the work of IHANT; administrative costs of IHANT and the implementation of programs; evaluation of all programs and targets for various outputs.

    The Principle Program Manager (PPM) is the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs. The PPM will implement the planning and delivery of the IHANT Housing program through a Memorandum of Understanding with IHANT. The elements of the Memorandum of Understanding are set out in the Agreement and include:
  • a statement of each of the programs to be delivered by the IHANT Housing Program together with program objectives, targets for completion, consultation practices, links to the Strategic Plan and evaluation strategies;
  • The various responsibilities of the PPM.

    Wherever possible services under the Agreement such as the construction of new housing, the upgrading, renovation, repair and maintenance of existing housing, and he delivery of related infrastructure, will be provided by Indigenous community organisations who will be contracted by the PPM in consultation with ATSIC Regional Councils.

    Management of housing in Indigenous communities will be carried out by Indigenous community organisations. IHANT will implement strategies to enhance the housing management capacity of community organisations.

    Other sections of the Agreement cover funding arrangements, the release of funds, operational and administrative costs, annual reporting requirements, evaluation and review and early termination.

  • Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Agreement on National Indigenous Housing Information
  • Commonwealth State Housing Agreement 1999-2003
  • Agreement for the Provision of Housing and Infrastructure for Indigenous People in the Northern Territory
  • Agreement for the Provision and Management of Housing and Related Infrastructure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People of the Northern Territory
  • Organisation
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) - Signatory
  • Council of Australian Governments
  • Department of Family and Community Services (Cth) - Signatory
  • Indigenous Housing Authority of the Northern Territory
  • Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs (NT)
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Building a Better Future: Indigenous Housing to 2010
  • National Commitment to Improved Outcomes in the Delivery of Programs and Services for Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Community Housing and Infrastructure Program

  • References

    Resource
    Commonwealth of Australia (1999) Housing Assistance (Form of Agreement) Determination 1999: Commonwealth State Housing Agreement
    Council of Australian Governments (1992) National Commitment to Improved Outcomes in the Delivery of Programs and Services for Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders
    (2002) Agreement for the Provision and Management of Housing and Related Infrastructure for Indigenous People in the Northern Territory

    Glossary

    Framework Agreement | Funding Agreement

    Google
    Top of page

    Was this useful? Click here to fill in the ATNS survey