Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Click on picture above to enlarge

Perhaps it is now time for the Federal and Northern Territory Governments to admit that the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) is really the Silly, Irrelevant and Hopeless Infrastructure Program.
Why do I say this, dear Networkers? I say this because of to-day's news report that the Northern Territory Government has sidelined Jim Davidson, the consultant who was employed by the Joint Program Managers of SIHIP, Parsons Brinckerhoff. Jim Davidson is a former civil engineer and was a ministerial adviser to the then Northern Territory Business Minister and now Chief Minister Paul Henderson. Davidson stood unsuccessfully at the 2004 NT election for the ALP.
Here is what Parsons Brinckerhoff say on their website about SIHIP:

PB role: as joint Program Manager, PB has developed the delivery methodology and is managing implementation of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP).
The $672 million SIHIP aims to significantly improve the living conditions and quality of life of Indigenous people in remote communities in the Northern Territory. It is the biggest, single program of its kind, and provides funding for new housing (additional and replacement housing), housing renovations, and engineering infrastructure (including serviced allotments).

The Northern Territory Government, through Territory Housing, engaged PB to manage SIHIP. PB has brought to the project a wealth of experience in infrastructure program management, particularly in Indigenous and remote communities. Plus experience in alliance contracting – a collaborative, relationship-based approached to project delivery.
SIHIP is currently in progress. To date PB has:
  • Implemented project management systems
  • Packaged the development of the program

  • Managed the tender process to bring on board three alliance partners

  • Managed community consultation across the initial packages

  • Coordinated design management

  • Established a governance framework for the program

  • Chaired the Strategic Alliance Leadership Team for program

  • Started the process of redefining success parameters for sustainable, remote Indigenous communities.
SIHIP will operate in 73 Indigenous communities and some urban areas, delivering around 750 new houses, more than 230 replacement houses, more than 2,500 housing upgrades, essential infrastructure, and improvements to living conditions in town camps. It includes a training component to employ Indigenous people in housing construction, maintenance and management.

In April 2009, the first major refurbishments under SIHIP started on the Tiwi Islands, Groote Eylandt and in Tennant Creek.

Shucks - the difference between a website and reality. Lotsa stuff happening according to the 'net. Plain-as-God-made-'em on the ground human beings in Tennant Creek would beg to differ with all of this.
Have the Federal Government and the Northern Territory Government woken up to themselves? Or, could it be that they are blame shifting? How are ordinary mortals on the ground waiting for a house or a tender to help in the provision of housing supposed to know? Sounds like the mating of elephants to me - high up in the stratosphere an dout of sight.

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