Media Releases

HUMAN FACE OF HOMELESSNESS HIGHLIGHTS STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEGLECT

May 01, 2018

The struggle of a homeless North West Coast Tasmanian woman and her children highlight the policy failures of the State and Federal Liberal Government’s.

Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Senator Doug Cameron today met mother of two children Cassandra.

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay said, “Cassandra is currently homeless with a teenage son and teenage daughter. Her daughter has mental health issues and her son is not able to attend school due to the family staying with friends forty five minutes away with no transport or access to public transport. The family is unable to access women’s shelters due to a teenage son.

Labor Senator for Tasmania Anne Urquhart said, “Meeting Cassandra was a humbling experience that highlighted the human cost of Malcolm Turnbull’s and Will Hodgman’s policy failures.”

Senator Cameron said, “According to the latest data from the 2016 ABS Census 1,622 Tasmanian’s are homeless.

“According to Shelter Tasmania, homelessness services assisted 7,789 Tasmanian in the 2016/17 year.

“It is alarming that on average each day, 14 requests from families with children for assistance goes unmet.

“Will Hodgman has stood idly by while the Turnbull Government has:

  • Cut $44 million a year in capital funding from homelessness services in its first Budget;
  • De-funded Homelessness Australia, National Shelter and the Community Housing Federation of Australia to prevent them advocating for homeless Australians;
  • Abolished the National Housing Supply Council and the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness
  • Failed to appoint a dedicated Minister for Housing and Homelessness.

 

“Even now in the middle of this crisis Malcolm Turnbull and Will Hodgman can’t agree to new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement,” concluded Senator Cameron.

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay went on to say, “Cassandra’s story highlights a system break down.

“It is inconceivable that in an advanced economy like Australia, local families are struggling to simply put a roof over their heads.

"How is it that a woman with two children is being denied a place to live or the opportunity for her children to attend school?

“Under the Liberals’ watch there are over 3,000 Tasmanians waiting to be housed.

 “Cassandra’s situation highlights a critical shortage of affordable social and public housing for low and very low income households.”

Labor Senator for Tasmania Anne Urquhart also said, “It was apparent the Turnbull and Hodgman governments have no plans to tackle homelessness, nor the housing affordability crisis, which is a major driver of homelessness.

“Doing nothing should not be an option for the state and federal governments.

“It says a lot about Malcolm Turnbull’s priorities that he is prepared to give away $65 billion in tax cuts to multi nationals and the banks while doing nothing about the homeless.

“Labor has announced policies that will address rising homelessness and will have more to say before the next election.”

 TUESDAY 1 MAY, 2018

 MEDIA CONTACTS: LUKE WHITINGTON (CAMERON - 0422 265 77)

                                       JOHN DOWLING (KEAY – 0417 575 148)

                                       MATT NESHAM (URQUHART – 0431 010 454)

 

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra