INDIGENOUS communities in Alice Springs have rejected a $50 million proposal to turn their camps into suburban living.
The federal plan offered money in exchange for Crown leases over the land, but was rejected at a meeting yesterday.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, did not attend but sent a letter which was read out: "I am frustrated that after so long there has been no actual physical progress made to relieve conditions in the town camps. I expect that the men, women and children that live in the town camps are even more frustrated. They have waited long enough."
About 2500 people live in the camps, which Mr Brough has described as "hellholes".
The redevelopment plan now looks unlikely to go ahead.
The head of the Tangentyere Council, William Tilmouth, accused the Government of holding indigenous people hostage.
"We want to be at the table and we want to negotiate with Government; we don't want our houses sold from under us to the highest bidder," he told ABC radio.