There has been a largely positive response to a radical new welfare plan at Hope Vale in Far North Queensland, which places strict controls on how Aboriginal welfare payments can be spent.
Aboriginal elder Noel Pearson, Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough and Hope Vale Mayor Greg McLean signed off on the plan this afternoon.
In return for $15 million and low-interest loans for home ownership, the community members will forfeit the right to freely spend welfare payments.
The plan aims to cut drug and alcohol use and community members will sign a legally-binding deal that means money will automatically be deducted for food, welfare and rent.
Breaking the deal could result in eviction.
Mr Brough congratulated the community for drafting the deal and purchasing land to develop new homes.