'Normalising' Aboriginal Housing in the Kimberley: Challenges at the interface of new public management approaches

Normalising Aboriginal Housing in the Kimberley
Author/editor: Hunt, J
Year published: 2018
Issue no.: 123


The abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and the national government reform agenda of the mid-2000s brought about ‘mainstreaming’ of Indigenous programs and opened them up to new public management (NPM) principles. This paper discusses this change, particularly in relation to the implementation in the Kimberley region of Western Australia of mainstreamed agreements on remote Indigenous housing between the Australian Government and State and Territory governments. These have been designed to provide new housing and renovate existing housing in seriously overcrowded remote Aboriginal communities.These agreements shifted Australian Government funding and responsibility for housing from Indigenous community-controlled organisations to State governments. This paper explores the ‘normalisation’ or ‘mainstreaming’ of housing policy in this NPM environment, through a case study of the impact of this policy on one organisation, Marra Worra Worra (MWW), and its remote Kimberley communities.
Keywords: Indigenous community organisations, Indigenous housing, Kimberley Aboriginal organisations, new public management, public value

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