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Statement From The Spokesperson for NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey

The NSW Government’s commitment to Wilcannia is ongoing. We are committed to providing essential services and ensuring the safety of the community.

The NSW Government is delivering additional homes for seniors in Wilcannia to ensure elders remain connected to community and Country.

Plans are also in place to build a number of additional large, family homes.

Once construction restrictions are fully lifted, the NSW Government has funded Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council to roll out a further $1.3m in housing upgrades.

NSW Government has expended nearly $2m on repairs and upgrades to its existing homes in the last 5 years, in addition to maintenance from Community Housing Providers over the same period of $1.9m on Government and Local Aboriginal Land Council (LAHC) homes.

The Aboriginal Housing Office Chief Executive has met with the Wilcannia LALC several times and the DPIE Leadership team met with Wilcannia community leaders on the ground last November to hear their feedback on housing.

In response to the current COVID-19 situation, local response groups that include NSW Government agencies such as Police, Far West Local Health District, Resilience NSW and Aboriginal Affairs together with Maari Ma Health, other Aboriginal organisations, community members and the local council, have also been established to coordinate priorities such as health services, food relief and accommodating people who need to isolate.

The Aboriginal Housing Office is working to support all its tenants in Wilcannia to ensure their safety and wellbeing during this time. They are working with Local Aboriginal Land Councils and NSW Health – motel and cabin accommodation has been offered to those who need to self-isolate, in addition to 30 motorhomes at the council-owned campervan site in Wilcannia.