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Dinybulu Regional Services improving housing for Ngangalala Homeland residents

Giovanni Torre -

Works are underway on 10 houses in the remote East Arnhem Land Homeland of Ngangalala, 560 km east of Darwin.

The refurbishments and upgrades are being delivered by Dinybulu Regional Services after being awarded a $3.5million grant under the Northern Territory government's Homelands Housing and Infrastructure Program.

The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) noted on Tuesday that the funding is part of the Northern Territory and Commonwealth's $100 million commitment to the Restoring Funding for Homelands Program, focusing on remote outstation housing in the Territory.

Dinybulu Regional Services is a 100 per cent Yolŋu-owned partnership business between Bulungkunum Corporation and the ALPA.

The major focus areas on the upgrades and refurbishments include safe water and power supply, sewage, structural upgrades, plumbing and septic systems, grounds maintenance, sanitation, and hygiene.

Image: Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation.

'9 Healthy Living Practices' were tabled in consultation with residents and Traditional Owners to facilitate a better and safer quality of life as well as improve overall home maintenance and conditions, including advice around hygiene; clothes and bedding; removing waste; improving nutrition through cooking, storing and preparing food; reducing overcrowding; reducing the impact of vermin, animals and insects; and controlling the temperature of the living environment and reducing hazards that cause trauma.

Dinybulu Chairperson Fay Matjarra Garrawurra said the Homelands Funding is "not only creating local Yolŋu jobs but improving the quality of life for our residents who still live in Ngangalala".

Ms Garrawurra said the project is "improving the lives of our relatives at Ngangalala Homland through better housing conditions" and "creating further employment and work for our Dinybulu workers out bush".

"I hope that this Homelands Funding Program by the Australian government can be rolled out to other Homeland communities across Arnhem Land. Ngangala community was there before Ramingining and we must keep these homelands in shape for the families living there," she said.

About 50 residents will benefit from the current Ngangalala works program.

Residents will be temporarily located in the nearby Ramingining community while upgrades and maintenance on their homes take place, and secure storage for their belongings has also been provided as part of the work.

Dinybulu Regional Services said the project is scheduled for completion in October 2024.

Image: Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation.

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