Thursday, 13 May 2021
Catherine House Inc.
Before moving general business notice of motion No. 1112, I ask that the names of Senators Wong, Marielle Smith and Patrick be added to the motion. I, and also on behalf of Senators Wong, Marielle Smith and Patrick, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) the Liberal State Government has cut $1.2 million from Catherine House, effectively one third of its operating budget,
(iii) Catherine House Crisis Accommodation Program supports hundreds of women each year; these women often present with histories of domestic and family violence, mental health issues and poverty, as well as facing a critical lack of safe and affordable housing,
(iv) this program now stands to lose its 20 beds and staff face losing their jobs,
(v) women now represent 44% of all people experiencing homelessness and women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing homelessness cohort, and
(vi) other homelessness services including the Hutt St Centre and St Vincent de Paul Society, which offer 47 crisis accommodation beds have also lost their funding; and
(b) calls on the South Australian Liberal Government to restore direct funding to Catherine House and other homelessness services and increase funding to the sector overall.
The Morrison government has committed $1.1 billion to women's safety as the down payment to the next national plan. There's been no cut to homelessness funding nor a reduction in crisis accommodation by the South Australian government. To suggest otherwise is blatant fearmongering. Under the reforms, at Catherine House crisis bed numbers will remain the same and at-risk women will continue to get the support they need when they need it. In 2020-21, the Morrison government will spend $1.6 billion specifically in payments to states and territories under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
Question agreed to.