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First Nations apprentices contribute to housing developments across Alice Springs town camps

Callan Morse -

Aboriginal construction workers and apprentices have been working on remote housing programs across Mparntwe (Alice Springs) town camps.

Rolling out across 11 town camps, the developments will see the construction of 64 dwellings, increasing the combined number of bedrooms across the various communities by 242.

Local decision making has been applied to the builds, with the Aboriginal community informing housing compositions which include three, four and five bedroom homes as well as duplex facilities.

Five territory construction companies including Aboriginal Business Enterprises Blueprint Construction and Tangentyere Constructions are carrying out the works, with a combined Indigenous employment rate of 46.4% across the entire project.

The $40 million investment by the Northern Territory Government has seen 39 of the 64 homes currently in various stages of completion with some houses delivered to residents in September, nine weeks after on-site construction commenced.

It is anticipated that at least 35 buildings will be completed by year's end across town camps including Charles Creek, Hoppy's, Hidden Valley, Ilpeye Ilpeye, Warlpiri, Karnte, Larapinta Valley, Little Sisters, Mount Nancy, Morris Soak, and Trucking Yards.

Northern Territory Housing and Homelands Minister Selena Uibo said the project improves the welfare of town camp residents.

"The Territory Labor Government's investment means residents of Alice Springs will have much-needed, better, safer homes," she said.

"Tenants have already moved into one home at Hidden Valley and by the end of October another ten homes will be ready."

Ms Uibo said the project is having a direct impact on employment for town camp residents, with many employed by contract winners Blueprint, Bullant Building, Asbuild, Tangentyere Constructions and LA Build to build residences within their own communities.

The projects are also having a direct impact on economic activity in the broader Alice Springs region, whilst also providing employee up-skilling pathways.

"This is a job-creating project that provides sustainable employment and training opportunities for locals, including many who live in these town camps and will be helping to build homes for their families," Ms Uibo said.

"The local business sector has also welcomed this economic injection which is generating hundreds of building, subcontracting and retail opportunities."

The works are part of the Northern Territory Government's "Our Community. Our Future. Our Homes." initiative, a $2.1 billion Territory-wide remote housing program that is jointly funded by the Northern Territory and Australian Governments.

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