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Agreement for the Provision and Management of Housing and Related Infrastructure for Indigenous People in the Northern Territory
|Binomial Name:||Bilateral Agreement|
|Date:||1 August 2002|
|Sub Category:||Framework Agreement | Funding Agreement|
|Location:||Northern Territory, Australia|
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|Subject Matter:||Collaboration / Partnership | Health and Community Services | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure|
|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However, it is intended that this Agreement will be superseded within 12 months of its coming into operation by a combined Housing and Infrastructure Agreement which will ensure a coordinated approach to the planning and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.
|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:|
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:
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:
In relation to IHANT, the Territory will:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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