Four states take over remote community services

A deal has been struck for services funding in remote communities
A deal has been struck for services funding in remote communities

FOUR states will be given a once-off Commonwealth payment worth millions of dollars to take responsibility for municipal and essential services in remote indigenous communities.

Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania will become responsible for services such as power, water and infrastructure in the communities.

The only state not to accept the offer was South Australia.

But Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the offer to South Australia would remain on the table until the end of September.

Mr Scullion said successive federal governments had attempted to transition responsibility to states as Commonwealth support had confused issues and led to inconsistent, ad-hoc services.

"Since 2010, funding has been extended to states for 12 months on two separate occasions while new arrangements were being negotiated with states," he said.

Mr Scullion reportedly told The Australian he had offered the states $100 million together upfront.

But he said the amounts given to each state remained confidential as they were still being negotiated

Mr Scullion said once the funding was exhausted, states would be on their own.

The government has a separate agreement with the Northern Territory. Under that agreement, the government is providing the NT with $206 million over 10 years.

But the government does not provide financial support for the delivery of municipal and essential services in NSW.


Topics:  australia editors picks indigenous politics remote

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