Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative – Ministerial Response

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Original adjournment matter from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing, and the action I seek is for the minister to meet with the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) to discuss the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build.

BADAC is an Aboriginal founded and controlled co-operative who provide outstanding health, social, welfare and community development programs to our thriving Aboriginal community in Ballarat and surrounds.

CEO Karen Heap, COO Jon Kanoa and the BADAC team have provided excellent support to the local Aboriginal community throughout the pandemic.

The organisation has the capacity and the proven track record to increase the culturally appropriate wraparound services they provide to community members in the future.

I would also like to thank the minister for the funding that has already been allocated to Ballarat through the Andrews Labor government’s life-changing Big Housing Build.

This includes $50 million for the transformation of the Delacombe housing estate, which will construct at least 150 social housing homes including the replacement of 66 of the existing ageing social housing homes to seven-star energy-efficient homes.

I particularly look forward to seeing the creation of new green spaces within the estate, which will certainly make the area more open and welcoming for the many families who live in the area.

The Ballarat community was also very excited with the recent announcement of $20 million from the Social Housing Growth Fund to construct 89 new social housing homes across Ballarat. These new homes will be delivered in partnership with social housing organisations through nine different projects and will create more than 250 local jobs.

I look forward to hearing back from the minister regarding this request and am hopeful that the minister will welcome the opportunity to meet with BADAC.

Response from the Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Housing (8 Dec 2021) –

I thank Ms Addison, Member for Wendouree, for her question and acknowledge her interest in improving the social housing outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians within the Ballarat community.

I was delighted to meet with BADAC CEO Karen Heap, COO Jon Kanoa, and the BADAC Team on October 13, 2021. I wish to thank Karen and all the staff at BADAC for the outstanding support they have provided to the Ballarat and surrounding Aboriginal community throughout the pandemic. In agreement with the Hon Gabrielle Williams MP, Minster for Aboriginal Affairs, Homes Victoria will work directly with BADAC to further explore the opportunities through the Big Housing Build delivery, to progress the proposed Aboriginal accommodation option for young women in the Ballarat and surrounding district.

The Victorian Government is committed to supporting Aboriginal self-determination to assist Aboriginal communities to resolve their housing needs. The $5.3 billion Big Housing Build commits to delivering 10 per cent of all net new social housing dwellings to support Aboriginal people. In February 2020, the Victorian Government helped launch the Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework (VAHHF) – Mana-na worn-tyeen maar-takoort: Every Aboriginal Person Has a Home. The VAHHF sets out an Aboriginal governance structure that strengthens Aboriginal self-determination and guides government on an approach to deliver the Big Housing Build 10 per cent Aboriginal target commitment.

The Big Housing Build is Victoria’s largest ever investment in new social housing supply. The $50 million transformation of the Delacombe Housing Estate and $20 million investment from the Social Housing Growth Fund in Ballarat will address systemic issues facing Aboriginal Victorians. These investments will create a minimum of 250 new jobs and focus on delivering new social housing to meet the unmet demand for housing and the low rates of homeownership.

I trust this information is of assistance, and I once again thank the Member for Wendouree for her question.