FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, is encouraging the electorate to get involved in Homeless Persons’ Week, which was launched by the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews.
Mr Joyce said this year’s theme ‘Homelessness: we can’t afford to ignore it’ raises awareness of the devastating personal harm, significant impacts on society and costs to all levels of government that are caused by homelessness.
“It is disheartening to acknowledge that on any given night, more than 105,000 Australians find themselves without a safe and suitable place in which to shelter,” he said.
“It’s a harsh reality that homelessness can affect anyone and that is why reducing it is everyone’s responsibility. It is a significant issue in Australian society and we will not ignore it.”
Mr Joyce said the Australian Government is committed to adopting a considered, methodical and measured approach to addressing the complex issue of homelessness.
“When the Coalition came into Government last September we were confronted by a looming crisis in homelessness services, there was no provision in the Budget for program funding after 30 June this year.
“This was clearly unacceptable and we stepped into the breach allocating up to $115 million to keep the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) operational for another year.
“We have made a good start with all states and territories signing the NPAH, which will allow us to start working collaboratively to achieve a lasting legacy of helping all Australians gain safe, affordable and appropriate housing.” he said.
“Homeless Persons’ Week provides an opportunity for the New England Electorate to actively participate in events listed on the Homelessness Australia website (www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au) or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter, to help create awareness about the impact of homelessness in Australia.”