Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell has welcomed a new joint decision-making agreement between the NSW Government and the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly that will improve social housing options for Aboriginal people across the region.

The agreement, negotiated through the Local Decision Making initiative, will focus on the delivery of a $15 million investment to improve the quality and availability of Aboriginal social housing in communities across the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly area.

NSW Nationals Upper House MP Sarah Mitchell said the Government and the Assembly will jointly design and deliver social housing plans, policies and priority projects.

“This agreement puts Aboriginal people at the heart of decisions that will design and deliver social housing programs and priority projects,” Mrs Mitchell said. “I am proud of the commitment demonstrated by both the NSW Government and the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly of delivering improved outcomes for local Aboriginal people.”

Murdi Paaki was the first regional assembly to sign a Local Decision Making Accord in NSW. Under this accord, an adult literacy and training model has been piloted, a youth forum organised for young and emerging Aboriginal leaders and regular dialogue on aboriginal student attendance has been established.

Assembly chair Des Jones said given the remoteness of the region and its Aboriginal population, “the Assembly, its Community Working Parties and organisations are well placed to inform decision making on alternative social housing arrangements in the region and to deliver improved outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.”

Mrs Mitchell also said that whilst she knows significant work has already started, today marks the next important step as implementation gets underway.

“I know that the relationships established throughout this process will continue to be strengthened, and I am excited to see how this agreement will enable greater self-determination, and drive improved wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities in the region,” she said.