Work progressed this month on the Alice Springs Accommodation Park, which was announced in February under the Alice Springs Transformation Plan. On 21 April, the tender was opened to select a company to undertake construction of the Accommodation Park. A tender has now been awarded, for construction of the Accommodation Park to start on 6 May 2010.
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, and Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton, have welcomed this next step in completing the Accommodation Park, which, when opened, will help to reduce homelessness and overcrowding in the community as well as decrease pressure on public housing.
The construction of the Accommodation Park is another example of the work of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan that is helping to boost the local economy and support jobs. Initial work on the site began in February and continued through April, and has included a site clean-up, identification of sacred sites and fencing.
The new fencing at the Accommodation Park
Work will include refurbishment of existing buildings. The kitchen and dining facility will be renovated, and barbecues, fire pits and self service laundry facilities will be built. Construction will start next on the various accommodation types that the Accommodation Park will offer, which includes cabins, self-contained units, shelters and tents.
The tent design, which will be one of the accommodation types offered at the Accommodation Park
The Accommodation Park is scheduled to be up and running at the end of July, and Aboriginal Hostels Limited will manage the facility, with responsibility for all aspects of its operation.
Also this month, the Alice Springs Transformation Plan announced an extension of the highly successful Dog Control Program, which the Alice Springs Town Council currently undertakes. The Town Council will receive an extra $450,000 in funding over two years. This will allow the program to continue through to 30 June 2012 and will ensure its ongoing success. The program has so far seen over 670 dogs removed from Alice Springs town camps since December 2008.
One of the program's rangers at a town camp
The funding will help employ two full-time rangers who will work with residents and run a dog management program and education campaign. The program will limit the number of dogs to two per house, and provide health checks, micro-chipping and chemical sterilisations to help manage the dog population.
Throughout April, work continued on the early works building and infrastructure program. The first house in Larapinta Valley town camp will be completed and handed over to the new tenant on 14 May 2010.
The first house at Larapinta Valley is soon to be completed
In addition, work continues on the other new houses being built across five town camps and the refurbishments that are being undertaken in Palmer's and Ilparpa town camps. The first refurbishment is also set to be completed on 14 May, following which the house will be handed back to the tenant.