Wednesday, 9 August 2017
I, and also on behalf of Senator Cameron, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the most recent statistics from 2015-16 show that 275 requests for homelessness assistance were unable to be met each day,
(ii) an estimated 1.3 million households are unable to access private market housing or require financial assistance to avoid rental stress, and
(iii) the use of punitive powers against people sleeping rough costs taxpayers more in the long-run than providing long-term accommodation for homeless people; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to work with states and territories to:
(i) facilitate moves away from punitive approaches to dealing with homelessness, and
(ii) put increased emphasis in project plans under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness on the provision of safe, stable, long-term accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.
The previous Labor government did not leave a single dollar in the budget for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. The coalition allocated funding when it came to government and then, in this budget, announced that funding for homelessness would be made permanent—something Labor never did. The coalition government's new $1.5 billion housing agreement will, for the first time, provide funding to the states that is linked to measurable outcomes. In addition to this funding, the coalition government will also provide $4.5 billion to 1.3 million people this year to assist with rental affordability.