4710.0 - Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/04/2007  Reissue
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April 17, 2007
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
Updated statistics on Indigenous housing released today: ABS

The majority (85%) of Australia's 1,187 discrete Indigenous communities were in very remote localities, according to the ABS 2006 Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey (CHINS) released today.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of discrete Indigenous communities reported a population of less than 50 people.

Over half (57%) of permanent dwellings managed by 496 Indigenous Housing Organisations were in very remote areas, 32% were in non-remote areas and 11% in remote areas. Indigenous Housing Organisations managed 21,758 permanent dwellings.

Other 2006 CHINS findings:


  • Over two-thirds (69%) of permanent dwellings, managed by Indigenous Housing organisations, required minor or no repairs. Approximately 31% required major repairs or replacement (compared with 27% in 2001).

  • Less people were living in temporary dwellings. Of the 92,960 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported as living in discrete Indigenous communities, a total of 4,039 people (4%) were reported as living in temporary dwellings. This compares with 5,602 people (5% of the total population of 108,085 in discrete Indigenous communities) in 2001.

  • Bore water continues to be the main source of drinking water being used by 58% of communities (64% in 2001). However more communities are using adjacent town water systems (18% compared to 15% in 2001). Fewer communities have no organised water supply (dropping from 21 in 2001 to 9 in 2006).

  • More communities were connected to the state electricity grid as their main source of electricity (274 communities, up 5% since 2001). However the most common main source of electricity was community generators (32%), followed by state grid (23%), solar and solar hybrid (18%), and domestic generators (15%).

  • More communities (53% or 630 communities) reported public access to a telephone within the community (up from 49% or 597 communities in 2001).

  • Around one in ten (11%) communities had public access to the Internet.

The CHINS was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on behalf of the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Further information including access to education, health and other services and financial information about Indigenous organisations providing rental housing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is in Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Australia, 2006(cat. no. 4710.0).