Senate debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Statements by Senators

Youth Voice in Parliament Week

1:46 pm

Photo of Larissa WatersLarissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm proud to be taking part in Raise Our Voice this week, in which many other MPs have taken part as well, amplifying the voices of young people from across my state of Queensland about the things that matter to them. Today I'll share the words of Abiageal Maher, a year 6 student at Cannonvale State School in North Queensland. Abby says:

I am writing to you today because I am worried about the amount of people living without a home. This is a problem not only in the Whitsundays but across all of Australia.

In the Whitsundays it is estimated that children make up almost half of the area's homeless community. The 2016 census showed that there were more than 116,000 people living on the streets in Australia. The effects of covid-19 has increased the amount of homeless people and the cost of housing. This issue really concerns me and we need to find a solution.

I am asking for you to help encourage the following actions:

1. Build cheaper houses that more people can afford

2. Build temporary houses to bring people off the streets

3. Create a government housing plan for cheaper housing

With these ideas I am hoping you can make something happen!

Thanks to Abby, who's 11. The Greens hear you. In a wealthy country like ours, no-one should be without a home, experiencing homelessness or even experiencing housing stress. We urgently need a serious investment in social and affordable housing, as well as rent caps, so that everyone has got a safe, accessible, liveable place to call home. So thank you, Abby, for your thoughtful contribution and for the care that you're showing for your community at the tender age of 11. We'll be working hard in this term of parliament to find solutions and indeed, as you have asked, make something happen.