Indigenous workers busy building houses

Natasha Robinson; 10/2/10

Indigenous people number up to half the workforce erecting housing in some Northern Territory communities under the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, with the first houses built under the program reaching completion.  Wadeye, 400km southwest of Darwin, this week became the first remote community to receive houses under the program, with the construction of two homes. Tenants received the keys on Monday. The federal government insists the workforce employed by the building alliances contracted to construct more than 700 homes in remote communities must be at least 20 per cent indigenous. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said yesterday more than 50 per cent of the workforce employed under the program in one Tiwi Islands community was Aboriginal. She said in Nguiu there were about 50 indigenous full-time workers employed in the program.